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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
April 2015
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Breast milk bought online can be contaminated

With everything that can be bought online, it’s not surprising that there is a rising niche market for the buying and selling of human breast milk. It is estimated that 55,000 women sell or buy breast milk online.

In a recent study published in Pediatrics, researchers bought and tested 102 samples of breast milk bought online. Of those samples, 10 percent included cow’s milk or infant formula with high enough levels (more than 10 percent) to suggest it was not added by mistake. In addition, more than half the samples shipped were above the recommended storage temperature of -20 degrees Celsius. Breast milk kept at warm temperatures for an extended period of time can facilitate bacterial contamination.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies under 12 months of age should not be given cow’s milk because their bodies are unable to properly digest it. Additionally, cow’s milk lacks the proper nutrients, such iron and Vitamin C, that babies need to grow.

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All children deserve a safe and healthy childhood
Written by Kristina Taylor-Porter, MA, executive director, Children's Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health

April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month. With national statistics of one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, the likelihood of knowing a child or adult who has been victimized is high. As adults, it's our obligation to recognize potential signs of abuse and take an active role in preventing, responding, and reporting suspicion of abuse.

Oftentimes, there are no physical signs of abuse or neglect; however, the most recognizable signs are changes in the child. Some signs may include but are not limited to:

  • Unexplained injuries, which may include cuts, burns, and/or bruises in a pattern or shape
  • The child may appear anxious, depressed, aggressive or withdrawn
  • The child may regress to earlier behaviors that may be exhibited by thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, etc.
  • Some children may express fear of going to the place in which the abuse may be occurring such as home, school, church, etc.
  • The child's sleep patterns may change and the child may report frequent nightmares; Often, adults notice a more fatigued or tired child
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Safe, healthy, and stress-free flying with young children

Planning and Preparation

If you are thinking about going on a trip that will include young children and airline flights, it is crucial to plan ahead to make the trip as stress-free as possible. You may not have control over the weather and flight cancellations, but you do have control over when and how you fly.

Take some time and think about your children's schedules - are they early risers and happier in the morning or the opposite? Consider whether or not it's realistic to assume you and your family can be ready and to the airport in time for that 6:00 amd flight. Will you be making connections? I recommend trying to give yourself at least two hours at any connecting airport so you have time to transition between what are often long-distance flights, and get to use the bathroom, change diapers and have something to eat.

Planning out your trip with these considerations in mind can definitely help things run more smoothly.


In packing for an airplane trip with kids, good planning is the key to success. Make a list ahead of time so you don't forget important items for your child. Age-appropriate essentials to remember for your carry-on include:

  1. Diapers, wipes (pack more than you think you'll need)
  2. Burp cloths
  3. Bottles for preparing formula (if formula feeding); remember that you can't take large amounts of liquid onto planes, so you will need to buy water at the airport if it's needed for mixing formula on a flight
  4. Changes of clothes
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Autism Awareness Month

Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? In 2014, the Center’s for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in 68 children have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This statistic is up 30 percent form the one in 88 report in 2012. Additionally, autism is almost five times more common in boys than girls.

Autism is a disability that interferes with a child's development and socialization abilities. Signs of autism include changes or delays in social, languages, or developmental skills. Accordingly to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), if a child exhibits any following five behaviors, additional evaluation is recommended:

  • Not babbling by 12 months of age
  • Not gesturing, pointing, or waving by 12 months of age
  • Unable to say words by 16 months of age
  • Unable to say two-word phrases by two years of age
  • Children that have these skills but then regress or lose them

While there are no medical tests that can confirm if a child has ASD, pediatricians can use evaluation tools to aid diagnosis. In our office, we use a Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers – Revised (M-CHAT-R) screening test in which we ask parents questions about their child’s behaviors and skills.

If you are concerned that your child is exhibiting signs of autism, talk with your pediatrician. If further evaluation is needed after the initial screening, then the pediatrician will work to get the child referred for additional testing by a psychologist, speech therapist, or other provider who specializes in the diagnosis of autism.



Mount Nittany Health Children’s Advocacy Center welcomes Charlene Friedman and Tom Poole to governing board
Charlene Friedman; Dr. Thomas Poole

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, Mount Nittany Health, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new governing board members.

Charlene Friedman, a longtime resident of Centre County, is chief financial officer for Friedman Real Estate Group. Friedman has more than 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and child development and psychology. Holding an undergraduate degree in education from Seton Hall University, and having completed post-graduate work at the University of Oregon and The Pennsylvania State University, Friedman has served in leadership roles with Smart Start - Centre County, Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, and State College Area Food Bank. She currently serves on the M&T Bank Regional Advisory Board and is an active member of the PA Early Learning Investment Commission.

Friedman and her husband, Ed, were named Penn State’s Renaissance Fund honorees in 2012. The Renaissance Fund honors an individual or couple who, through a lifetime of service, have contributed greatly to the Penn State and State College communities.

“The work that is being done by the CAC humbles me,” said Friedman. “While I wish that these circumstances didn't exist, if I can assist in some small way by advocating for these children, then I must do so."

Dr. Thomas Poole serves as vice president for administration at Penn State University. Prior to being named to this position in 2009, Poole served as associate to the president for administration, associate vice provost for educational equity, director of Penn State’s Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs, director of student activities, and acting director of student unions.

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Walk to Cure Diabetes event benefits juvenile diabetes research

The State College Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015:

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes
State College Spikes Stadium
701 Porter Street
State College, PA 16801

Check-in begins at 10:00 am and the two-mile walk begins at 11:00 am. For more information, contact Lauren McPherson at or 717.901.6489.

JDRF raises money for type 1 diabetes research to support the millions of people affected by this serious disease. To learn more, visit

Diabetes prevention and management has been identified as an area of health concern through Mount Nittany Health’s Community Health Needs Assessment. As a way to address this key area of concern, we are proud to sponsor JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes.



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 and click on the Recalls tab from the home page.


Name of product: Lands’ End children’s pajamas and robes

Hazard: The pajamas and robes fail to meet federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear, posing a risk of burn injuries to children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves 25 styles of boys, girls and toddler sleep sets, sleepers, pants, nightgowns and robes sold in 100 percent polyester fleece or knit. The garments were sold in sizes 3 months to 16 (girls) and 20 (boys), and in various colors and patterns. The style number is printed on a tag affixed to the garments’ neck, waist or side seam. Style numbers included in the recall are:

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