May 2018
This Month's Newsletter
We hope everyone has a fantastic Memorial Day weekend as we welcome the unofficial start to Summer!

This month's newsletter includes information on what to expect when you are having a baby. In addition, in recognition of Blood Pressure Awareness Month, we include an article on high blood pressure in children and discuss the diagnosis and treatment options. Finally, we provide an article on the health benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet and how it can help prevent and alleviate many illnesses and diseases. 

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

The Pediatric Center Staff
Having A Baby? We Are There
Are you expecting a new baby? pregnant_mothers.jpg

As a patient of The Pediatric Center, we want to ensure you are completely prepared for your newborn.  Having a new baby is a very exciting time - and comes with a lot of uncertainty and questions.  It is our goal to help you transition through this time smoothly and support you every step of the way. 

How to prepare for the big day: 

Register for a Baby Class
Be sure to call our office to register for one of our complimentary new baby classes (the 3 rd Thursday of every month) and/or schedule a pre-natal appointment with our office.

Verify Insurance
The Pediatric Center accepts most insurance plans. Just to be sure, it's important to call your insurance and verify we are in-network. We regularly perform rounds at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Overlook Hospital, and Saint Barnabas.

List Us
When you complete your hospital pre-registration paperwork, list us as your pediatrician of choice. This will ensure the hospital contacts us after you give birth.

In The Hospital - We Are There!
We are one of the only pediatrician offices that still conduct hospital visits when our patients give birth. One of our doctors will visit you and your newborn in the hospital to check in on you and meet your new baby.

Your Baby's First Check-Up
Please call our office on the day of your discharge from the hospital to schedule your newborn check-up within 2-4 days after leaving the hospital. It's important to also call your insurance provider as soon as possible to alert them you have given birth. You have 30 days to add your new baby to your group insurance plan.

If you have a friend or family member that is still searching for a new pediatrician, please invite them to call our office to schedule a tour and meet our doctors: 908-508-0400
High Blood Pressure in Children
We usually think of high blood pressure - also known as hypertension - as a problem that female_feet.jpg affects adults. But, in fact, the condition can be present at any age .

An estimated 3.5% of all children and teens in the United States have high blood pressure, yet the condition often goes undetected and untreated.

Early Detection is Key
High blood pressure can go undiagnosed for years. It's important to try to detect it as early as possible to avoid health risks like organ damage and coronary artery disease in adulthood.

How is Blood Pressure Measured?
The term blood pressure actually refers to two separate measurements:
  • Systolic blood pressure is the highest pressure reached in the arteries as the heart pumps blood out for circulation through the body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure is the much lower pressure that occurs in the arteries when the heart relaxes to take blood in between beats.
If either or both measurements are above the range found in healthy people of the same age and sex, it's called hypertension.

Screening Kids for High Blood Pressure
Diagnosing high blood pressure in children is difficult since it can be affected by many factors, such as height, age and sex. The AAP and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute both recommend that children have yearly screenings for high blood pressure, starting at age 3, at their annual well-child visits .

Diagnosing High Blood Pressure in Children
If your child's blood pressure is high, your pediatrician may recommend urine and blood tests to see if there is an underlying medical problem. An ultrasounds can be used to examine the heart or the kidneys. If no medical problem can be found, your child will be diagnosed with essential hypertension  - meaning "no cause found".

About essential hypertension:
In most children and adolescents, no specific cause is found for hypertension. Doctors take into account the child's medical history (other diagnoses like kidney disease), family history (heritability of hypertension is about 50%),  risk factors such as low weight at birth, and whether the child is currently overweight.

Management & Treatment of High Blood Pressure
The first-line treatment for high blood pressure in children remains lifestyle changes.
  • If obesity is a possible cause, the first step is for your child to lose weight. This will need to be monitored very closely by your pediatrician. Weight loss can lower blood pressure and provide many other health benefits.
  • Reducing table salt and salty foods can lower blood pressure. Common sources of salty foods include bread, deli meats, pizza, and foods prepared outside the home. 
  • Try to avoid canned and processed foods, which contain a great deal of salt. Check  labels carefully to make sure the items have little or no salt added.
  • Aerobic activity can lower blood pressure as it has a positive effect on blood vessels and the heart - even when patients do not lose weight. The AAP recommends 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Blood Pressure Lowering Medications
If lifestyle changes do not work, or if the blood pressure is very high, a more aggressive approach may be required. The AAP guidelines recommend pediatricians start blood pressure-lowering medications if lifestyle changes fail to reduce your child's blood pressure, or your child has another condition like diabetes or kidney disease.

There are a variety of anti-hypertensive medications that have been tested and proven to be safe in the short- and long-term. The number of children who will end up with prescriptions for anti-hypertensive medications is small, about 1% or less.

Long-term Care
If your pediatrician diagnoses your child with high blood pressure, he or she will want to check it frequently to make sure the hypertension is not becoming more severe. 

Depending on how high the blood pressure is, your pediatrician may refer your child to a specialist-usually a pediatric nephrologist (kidney specialist) or pediatric cardiologist (heart specialist).

If you have any concerns or additional questions, please call our office to make an appointment with one of our doctors.


An Anti-inflammatory Diet Can Cure
As the medical community learns more about disease and chronic illness, there seems to strawberry_salad.jpg be a common denominator - inflammation in the body. 

Doctors are learning that we do not always have to turn to medicine to fight inflammation. One of the best ways to prevent and reduce inflammation is simply by eating the right foods.

According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School, "Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign-such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation."

This inflammation can persist for months and can trigger many major diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, IBD, depression, ADHD and much more. 

Many foods have been shown to either cause inflammation or have anti-inflammatory effects. The way we eat can dictate how our body responds to inflammation. 

Simply choosing the  right foods can help you reduce your risk of illness. Choosing the wrong foods can accelerate the inflammatory disease process.

Foods that cause inflammation (try to avoid):
  • Refined carbohydrates including white bread and pastries
  • Fried foods
  • Sugar and soft drinks
  • Processed foods and meats
  • Trans fats and shortenings
  • Dairy
Foods that fight inflammation (try to eat)
  • Healthy oils like olive oil
  • Green, leafy veggies
  • Nuts (almond/walnuts)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna)
  • Fruits and berries - like apples, strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges
The high levels of natural antioxidants and polyphenols-protective compounds found in plants and fruits help combat inflammation. 

The benefits of anti-inflammatory eating include improvements in emotional and physical health, which help with overall mood and quality of life.

Source: Harvard Health Publishing / Harvard Medical School
On-Site Lactation Support Center
The Pediatric Center's on-site Lactation Support Center led by our own Director of Lactation Support, Clare Cardo McKegney, DNP, APN, CPNP, is here to support you in breastfeeding your child. Dr. McKegney is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and certified breastfeeding counselor with over 18 years of advanced practice in pediatrics. 

Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience. 

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's patient portal provides personal access  to your family's  medical records. 

You can access information such as immunization records, visit summaries, request appointments, view dates for upcoming appointments and pay your bill.

Sign up is quick from our website. Click here.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
If you are in search of a pediatric specialist, please know we are here to guide you.

We have a wide network of doctors we can refer to ensure you are in good hands.

We specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.

You are not alone. 
Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill baby_laptopbuying.jpg payment.   

Simply visit our " Bill Payment & Insurance" page on our website. 

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092  or
Local:  908-237-9092
Vaccine Education Center

Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?


Reminder - we are offering the new meningitis vaccine Trumenba in our office. Insurance companies have started to cover this vaccine. It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical.


View all the details here.

We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  


Did you know you can write and post a review right on our website? Click here.


You can use this page to provide feedback, kudos, or just share thoughts. 


Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
Read Our Blog!
Check out our blog to read about news and current events. Topics are relevant to our practice and patients. Click here.
Follow Us On Facebook!

Keep up to date with pertinent news information and important announcements on Facebook including time sensitive topics and office closings, etc.


Simply like us by clicking on the icon to the right!


Announcements will also be posted on the home page of our website under "What's New".

The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974


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