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Life & Health. News and information to advance your health and well-being.
November 2015
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Parents Need to Know is a newsletter written by Craig Collison, MD, pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group.
National Influenza Vaccination Week

With flu season upon us, there is still time to receive a flu vaccination to keep you and your family protected throughout the season. National Influenza Vaccination Week is recognized this year on December 6 through December 12, and was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2005 to highlight the importance of getting a flu shot.

People who are at a higher risk for the flu include:

  • People 50 or older
  • Babies or children six months or older
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People with chronic health problems (such as diabetes, asthma, etc.)
  • People receiving certain medical treatments
  • People living in a nursing home
  • Pregnant women
  • Caregivers
  • Healthcare workers

Children six months to eight years of age may need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected if they have not received the vaccination previously.

Read Entire Article ›


American Academy of Pediatrics issues new recommendations on tobacco and e-cigarettes

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued several recommended new policy statements about the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes in children and teens. 

According to the release, while the use of tobacco in teens has declined since the 1970’s, e-cigarette use has increased in popularity. Additionally, the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be very toxic if ingested by young children.

The AAP recommends that the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes be raised to a nationwide age of 21. Parents are encouraged to quit using tobacco around and promote a smoke-free environment.

To read the full release, please click here.



Ask the pediatrician: Bullying

Dear Dr. C.,

I have witnessed that my child is being bullied. Should I intervene or just let the kids work it out amongst themselves?

In today’s world, bullying can take on many different forms, from verbal, physical, social, to cyber bullying. In some cases, the bullying may be made up of more than one of these components, too. The first thing you should do, as a parent, is to determine if your child is being physically harmed. If this is the case, it is your responsibility to intervene immediately.

If your child is being teased or has rumors circulating about him or her, you may want to teach your child a few tactics to help respond to the bully. Teach your son or daughter how to stay calm during a difficult situation and look the bully directly in the eye. Have your child firmly state that they do not want to be talked about like that, and that they do not like what the bully is doing. It’s also important to teach your child to know when to ask a trusted adult for help. If the problem does not resolve, you may wish to alert the school officials.

Because cyber bullying is unfortunately a risk, you may wish to monitor your child’s texts and interactions through social media so that problems can be identified and dealt with as they arise.

Read Entire Article ›


Treating head lice in kids

Head lice may not be a serious or life threatening condition, but it can cause a big headache for parents. You may be surprised to find that the majority of head lice cases are acquired outside of school, although kids in preschool and elementary school are   more susceptible than most.

Signs that your child may have head lice include itching on the head or around the ears. Scratching may also cause sores on your child’s scalp. Lice crawl and move quickly to avoid light. Nits, which are eggs laid by lice, are yellow or white and are typically found on the hair close to the scalp. To check your child for lice, sit them in a bright room and part his or her hair so you can see the scalp. Comb his or her hair with a fine-toothed comb and wipe the comb after each comb-through.

If you discover lice or nits after checking your child’s scalp, check with your child’s pediatrician before starting a treatment method. Read the directions on any lice medicines and follow any post-treatment instructions. Also, you may want to wash your child’s clothing and linens, such as towels and sheets, in hot water. Items such as stuffed animals can be placed in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks.

To help prevent the spread of lice, teach kids not to share items such as brushes/combs and hats.



Medicine tips to keep kids safe

Many of us have a medicine cabinet in our home that stores anything from over-the-counter cough medicine to prescription medicines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number one cause of emergency visits for adverse drug events in children younger than five is children who have found and eaten medicine without the supervision of adults. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that more than 7,000 children go to the emergency room for reactions to medicines or errors in giving medicines.

These safety tips from the AAP may help prevent these unnecessary situations:

  • Store medicines out of reach from curious fingers. Always keep the medicines in the proper container and keep all childproof caps on the bottles.
  • If a medicine has been in the cabinet for a long period of time, check the expiration date. Never give a child (or yourself) expired medicine. They typically lose their effectiveness and can be harmful.
  • Read all instructions and make sure to measure out the correct dose. Medication droppers are more accurate than a measuring spoon from your kitchen.
Read Entire Article ›


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: Build-A-Bear Starbrights Dragon stuffed animals

Hazard: The satin seam of the stuffed animal can open, allowing the stuffing material to be exposed, posing a choking hazard for young children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: Starbrights Dragon is covered in a blue furry fabric with silver satin tummy, feet pads, wings and horns. The horns light up and the toy makes a musical sound when the hand is squeezed. The stuffed animal is about 17 inches high. The tracking label ending with 9333 or 9334 for USA and 9337 or 9459 for Canada can be found on the label sewn on the backside of the leg.  

Read Entire Article ›


Table of contents
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