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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
March 2015
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
 
The rise of kidney stones in children
 
 
 
   

Kidney stones are often thought to only affect older men and women. Though this is mostly true, the diagnosis of kidney stones has risen in children in recent years.

A kidney stone is a solid mass that is formed in the kidney when abnormal substances in the urine become highly concentrated. Kidney stones can either stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract.

Kidney stones on average are ¼ - ½ inch in size, but can grow up to several inches. Kidney stones in children are about the same size as kidney stones in adults, though their organs are much smaller, which can cause high levels of discomfort.

Children who have kidney stones may experience pain with urination, blood in the urine, a sharp pain in the lower back or abdomen, or nausea or vomiting from the pain. The pain can last either a short time or for several days. Children who may have small stones that easily pass may not have any pain.

 
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Recent study on peanut allergies
 
 
 
   

Children and adults with peanut allergies know that they need to be extra careful when eating food. Depending on the severity of the allergy, the slightest contact with peanuts or peanut-based products can cause a severe and life-threatening reaction.

Many pediatricians recommend introducing peanuts to kids after 12 months. In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers monitored 628 infants that tested positive for developing a peanut allergy aged four to 11 months over a period of five years. Half the infants were introduced to peanut-based products right away while the other half avoided peanuts and peanut-based products. When kids were tested after 60 months, around two percent of children that were fed peanut-based products developed an allergy. In comparison, 14 percent of children that avoided the food developed the allergy.

Because there is limited research on this topic, I put kids into a high risk or a low risk category to determine when to introduce peanuts into their diet. Kids that are high risk are those that have a family history of food allergies or allergic response to components of formula or even to things in the maternal diet that come through in breast milk. Any of these children should be considered high risk and peanuts should be introduced after age three. For low risk kids, peanuts can be introduced in the 12 to 15 month range.

 
 
 

 

 
Springtime allergies
Written by John Cox, MD, pulmonary medicine, Mount Nittany Physician Group
 
   
John Cox, MD, pulmonary medicine, Mount Nittany Physician Group

With the spring season in full swing, you may begin to notice signs of allergies affecting you or your children. From runny or stuffed noses, itchy eyes, or ear infections, it’s important to be aware of these symptoms and how you can protect your family. Specifically, now is the time to begin allergy-proofing your home and the bedrooms are a great place to start.

Recent studies have shown that a large portion of Americans test positive for such indoor allergens as dust, mold, or pet dander, and it’s quite common for these allergens to appear in the bedroom.

Dust mites are the most common indoor allergen. In order to help curb dust mites, hypoallergenic covers for beds, mattresses, box springs, and pillows are recommended. It’s also important to use bedding for your family that is washable, rather than quilts, throws, or comforters that cannot be washed. Wash the bedding weekly in hot water to kill dust mites, and contrary to what you may think, dry the bedding inside in a clothes dryer, as pollen can stick to the bedding when it’s outside.

Exclusive to your children’s bedrooms, many children like to pile stuffed animals on their beds, but this gives dust mites a great place to hide. Try to limit stuffed animals to one or two in the bedroom, and make sure they’re washable.

 
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Ask the pediatrician: Children sneaking food
 
 
 
   

Hi Dr. Collison,

At what age should I be worried that my child is still sneaking food? I know young children will "sneak a cookie from the cookie jar," but my 9-year-old daughter who has always struggled with weight issues is still sneaking food when I am not looking. I struggle with not wanting to push a complex on her when we discuss it. I keep healthy snack options in the house but portions are a problem. She wants lots of snacks, etc.

You are right in that this is a very challenging issue and one that is facing a big percentage of kids and parents these days. You want them to eat right and maintain a healthy weight but you don't want them obsessing about food, their weight, or to lose self esteem. You don't want them so worried about it that it leads to anorexia or bulimia or depression or eating to the point of obesity and all the issues that brings.

My opinion would be to openly talk about food and food choices and focus on aspects of health other than weight, such as a healthy heart, healthy immune system, and healthy growing (height). I believe that kids should be able to have treats once in a while but that snacks and meals should be as healthy as possible, with the treat following. This promotes both eating healthy meals and snacks and allows less healthy foods when the child is already somewhat full. This will hopefully keep them satisfied with a smaller portion of the treat.

 
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Give Kids a Smile: Free dental, vision and hearing exams
 
 

Do you know a child in need of dental and vision care? Any Centre County child (age 1 – 18) without dental or vision insurance is invited to attend Give Kids a Smile. Children will receive free dental care thanks to Pediatric Dental Care, a free vision exam thanks to Nittany Eye Associates, and a free hearing exam thanks to Albright Audiology.

Friday, April 17
Pediatric Dental Care and Nittany Eye Associates
1019 Ghaner Road, Suite A
Port Matilda, PA 16870

Exams are given by appointment only. Proof of income is required. For more information, call Centre Volunteers in Medicine at 814.231.4043.

Access to dental care is a priority of the Community Health Needs Assessment. To learn more about the Community Health Needs Assementment and our committment to access of care, visit mountnittany.org/HealthNeeds.

 
 
 

 

 
Recent product recalls
 
 
 
   

Here are recent product recalls announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For the most up-to-date recall information, please visit cpsc.gov and click on the Recalls tab from the home page.

 

Name of product: 2014 Marin MBX 50 and Tiny Trail bicycles

Hazard: The handlebars can loosen or separate during use. This can cause the rider to lose control and/or crash, posing the risk of injury.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Marin 2014 model MBX 50 and Tiny Trail boys and girls bicycles with 16-inch knobby tires. The single speed bicycles have high-rise handlebars and training wheels.  The boy’s bicycles were sold in red and have serial number HA14980XXXXXX. The girl’s bicycles were sold in purple and have serial number HA14982XXXXXX. Serial numbers are printed on a foil label affixed to the underside of the base of the down tube. “Marin” is printed on the seat and the downtube. “Tiny Trail” or “MBX 50” is printed on the bicycles chain guard.

 
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