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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
August 2015
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
Keeping your kids safe on the Internet

According to the Internet Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), a nonprofit organization that tracks digital trends and issues and their affects on children, children ages eight to 18 spend about 44.5 hours per week playing in front of a screen. That’s more than a typical full-time job! As access to the digital world becomes easier, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Teach your child to never post their personal information. This includes phone numbers, home address, and passwords.
  • Teach your child to never meet with someone they do not know.
  • Set guidelines for the types of photos they post online and let them know that a parent or guardian should approve all photos before they post them.
  • Limit time spent in front of the screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids only spend two hours per day in front of a screen.
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Can your child drink too much milk?

Milk is a vital source of nutrition for your kids starting at the very beginning of their life. But, do you know how much milk they should have daily?

A study published in The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Journal found that children, aged two to five, that drank more than three cups of cow’s milk daily had higher vitamin D levels, but lower iron levels. Low iron levels means the body can’t make enough hemoglobin in red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body.

Based on the study, the best amount of milk to drink is two cups of cow’s milk daily. The AAP recommends children ages two to eight should consume two cups of milk each day and children nine and older should consume three cups.

If your child does have a cow’s milk allergy, you may choose lactose-free or calcium-fortified soymilk substitute, or a calcium supplement as a substitute.



Stress: Helping kids cope

As an adult, we can face a long list of stressors on a daily basis: work, relationships, kids, money, and more. Sometimes we may wish for the stress-free days of being a kid again, but kids can become stressed just like us. Though their stress triggers may not seem as significant as ours, it is important to address their stress and help them cope if needed.

Kids can become stressed from a variety of sources such as the pressure of balancing school, homework, and extracurricular activities. Other factors can include more complex issues such as problems with friends, being bullied, or the death of a family member or divorce.

Signs your child may be stressed include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Excessive sleeping or not sleeping at all
  • Excessive crying, appearing worried or fearful in certain situations
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A healthy smile for life

Did you know oral health can provide insight to the health of the rest of your body? Conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and more can be linked to the quality of your oral health.

Caring for your child’s teeth begins before they appear. Before your baby’s first tooth appears, The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends wiping his or her gums daily with a soft, damp cloth or gauze to help prevent bacteria from building up. The ADA also recommends scheduling your child’s first dentist appointment as soon as his or her first tooth appears, typically around six months of age, but no later than his or her first birthday.

Once your child’s teeth begin to show through, you should buy a child-size tooth brush and fluoride toothpaste. For children three years and younger, use a small smear of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice and brush your child’s teeth twice a day; for children three to six years of age, use a pea-size amount of toothpaste and brush teeth twice a day to prevent tooth decay.

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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: Kyber Outerwear Children’s Animal-themed Sweaters

Hazard: The sweaters have a drawstring around the neck area that poses a strangulation hazard to children. Drawstrings can become entangled or caught on playground slides, handrails, school bus doors or other moving objects, posing a significant strangulation and/or entanglement hazard to children. In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines about drawstrings in children's upper outerwear. In 1997, those guidelines were incorporated into a voluntary standard. Then, in July 2011, based on the guidelines and voluntary standard, CPSC issued a federal regulation. CPSC's actions demonstrate a commitment to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts.

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