September 2017
This Month's Newsletter

It's hard to believe the first day of Autumn began September 22nd with 90 degree temperatures. The Fall is chock full of activities from sporting events to pumpkin farms. 

Enjoy every moment!


In this month's newsletter, in recognition of National Baby Safety Month, we provide information on car seat safety and how to ensure your child is safe.  We share information on preparing your children to learn financial values early and as they grow. In addition, we discuss the health benefits of the in-season fruit, pumpkins! We also remind everyone of the upcoming New Providence street fair - an exciting family event. 

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
Car Seat Safety
With September recognized as National Baby Safety Month, it's a good time to focus on a very common safety issue: four out of five safety seats are used incorrectly, with an average of three mistakes per seat, reports the Washington, D.C.-based National Safe Kids Campaign. 

An article in Parent's magazine highlights the top 8 car seat mistakes and how to quickly fix them:  

Mistake #1: Seat too loose in the car
Check your seat: with both hands, grasp the car seat at the base, near where the vehicle's safety belt passes through the seat. You shouldn't be able to move the safety seat more than one inch to the left or right, or forward. If you can, it's not tight enough. 

The danger: In a collision, a child in a loose seat could crash into the back of the front seat and seriously injure her face or head.

Fast fix: Place your knee in the seat, and put all your weight into it (use your arm for an infant seat), tightening the seat belt as much as possible. Then lock the seat belt--a step that many parents miss.  Don't forget to engage your car's seat belt lock. Shoulder-belt locks work differently than lap-belt locks do, so check your car manual for instructions. 

Mistake #2: Harness too loose on the child
"If, after you've tightened your child into his car seat, you can still pinch the fabric of the harness straps between your fingers, the harness is too loose," says Stephanie Tombrello, executive director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., in Torrance, California.

The danger: "A child who's loose in his harness can easily come out of his seat in a crash," Tombrello says. 

Fast fix: Tighten the harness. Keep in mind that the straps should be snug with no slack.

Mistake #3: Infant turned face-forward too soon
All children should remain rear-facing at least until they turn 2-years-old or have reached the maximum height or weight capacity of the car seat, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But 30 percent of  infants are turned around too soon. Babies need to fulfill both requirements--weight and age--in order to be forward-facing.

The danger: The bones that protect an infant's spinal cord are still forming. When a child is rear-facing, his back--the strongest part of his body--can better absorb the immense forces of a crash. Facing forward, an infant's relatively heavy head can catapult forward, causing his underdeveloped spine to expose his spinal cord and putting him at risk of paralysis or death.

Fast fix:  Keep your baby rear-facing until he's at least 2-years-old or has reached the maximum height or weight limit of the seat.

Mistake #4: Rear-facing infant seat not at a 45 degree angle
Many infant car seats have a built-in level that tells you when your seat is at the wrong angle. More often than not, seats are installed in a position that's too upright.

The danger: An infant's airway is very narrow--about the diameter of a soda straw. If your rear-facing seat leans too far forward, your baby's disproportionately heavy head could fall forward, cutting off her airway so she can't breathe.

Fast fix: While most rear vehicle seats are sloped toward the back of the car for the comfort of adult passengers, safety seats are designed to be installed on a flat surface. However, many safety seats are equipped with an adjustable pedestal to overcome this. 

Mistake #5: Using the retainer clip incorrectly
The retainer clip should be at armpit level, resting across your child's breastbone. The clip assures that the harness straps are in the right place.

The danger: When the retainer clip is in the wrong place, the straps can easily slip off a child's shoulders, and the child is at risk of being ejected from her seat in a crash.

Fast fix: Parents often move the clip as they maneuver their child out of the seat, so check the clip's position every time you buckle up.

Mistake #6: Harness straps through the wrong slots
Most convertible safety seats are designed with three sets of harness slots: The lower two sets are for the rear-facing position, and the top set is for the forward-facing position. On most seats, once the seat faces forward, only the uppermost slots have the extra reinforcement necessary to keep the harness secure in a collision. Yet parents often turn the seat around without adjusting the straps.

The danger: When the child faces forward, a harness in the lower slots can break through the seat during a collision.

Fast fix :  Always check the instructions that came with your seat to find out which slots are for what.

Mistake #7: Not using a booster seat
Any child between 40 and 80 pounds and up to 4'9" tall (generally, kids from 4 to 8 years old) needs to ride in a booster seat, which lifts him up higher so that the car's seat belt fits him properly. (And no child under 13 years old should ever sit in the front seat.)

The danger: An adult seat belt used by itself doesn't properly restrain a child because it crosses her body at the wrong spots: high up on her belly, high up across her shoulder--and sometimes even across the neck.  In a crash, a child who's too small for a seat belt can sustain massive internal-organ damage or head and spinal injuries, and can even be ejected.

Fast fix: Ensure your child is in a booster seat until the recommended age/weight limit.

Mistake #8: Using a seat that's been recalled
Millions of safety seats have been recalled, but many of them are not repaired or replaced. Check yours against the list of recalled seats maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You'll need to know your safety seat's model name, model number, and manufacture date, all of which are on the seat.

The danger: Car-seat recalls occur for a variety of reasons, including faulty latches and flammable seat fabric. While some recalled seats don't pose a fatal danger, many do. A faulty buckle could easily lead to disaster.

Fast fix: If you discover that your seat has been recalled, contact the manufacturer for further instructions. And never buy a car seat at a garage sale or a secondhand store, since it may have been recalled or involved in a collision.
Learning Financial Values Early
As your children get older, they will be faced with important life lessons and values, including financial management. Forbes magazine released a guide for children, by age, on the best tools to teach your child in relation to money. The following is an excerpt from those suggestions:

Activities For Ages 3 To 5
  • When your child is waiting in a line, discuss how important it is to learn to wait for what he or she wants.
  • Create three jars - each labeled "Saving," "Spending" or "Sharing." Every time your child receives money, whether for doing chores or from a birthday, divide the money equally among the jars. 
  • Have your child set a goal, such as to buy a toy. Make sure it's not so pricey that they won't be able to afford it for months. If your child does have an expensive goal, come up with a matching program to help her reach it in a reasonable time-frame. 
Ages 6-10
The lesson at this age it becomes important to understand how to spend money. 
You can start to engage your child in more adult financial decision-making.
  • Include your child in some financial decisions. Talk about deals, such as buying everyday staples like paper towels in bulk to get a cheaper per-item price.
  • Give your child some money, like $2, in a supermarket and have her make choices about what fruit to buy, within the parameters of what you need, to give them the experience of making choices with money.
  • When you're shopping, talk aloud about how you're making your financial decisions as a grown-up, asking questions like, "Is this something we really, really need? Or can we skip it this week since we're going out to dinner?" 
  • One of the best tools to start with is setting up a savings account when your child is young.  Take them to the bank and have your banker talk about accounts - savings, checking, etc.  
Ages 11-13
At this age,  you can shift from the idea of saving for short-term goals to long-term goals. Introduce the concept of compound interest, when you earn interest both on your savings as well as on past interest from your savings.
  • Describe compound interest using specific numbers, because research shows this is more effective than describing it in the abstract.
  • Have your child do some compound interest calculations on Here, she can see how much money she'll earn if she invests a certain amount and it grows by a certain interest rate.
  • Have your child set a longer-term goal for something more expensive than the toys she may have been saving for. 
Ages 14-18
When comparing colleges, be sure to consider how much each school would cost.
Search for the "net price calculator" on college websites to see how much each costs when including other expenses besides tuition. 
  • Discuss how much you can contribute to your child's college education each year.
  • Have your child use this College Scorecard to compare how much each college costs, what the employment prospects of graduates are, and how much student loan debt could affect your child's lifestyle after graduation if he or she attended that college. As with any investment, analyze together whether the money put in will pay off in the end.
  • Estimate your financial aid using the FAFSA4caster tool at Find out about loan repayment options such as Pay As You Earn, which limits your monthly payments to just 10% of your discretionary income. 
  • College kids should be encouraged to get a part-time job
Ages 18+
Use a credit card only if you can pay the balance off in full each month.
They do not want to affect his or her credit history, which could make it difficult to, say, buy a car or a home, or even to get a job. Sometimes, prospective employers check credit.
  • Teach a child that if a parent cosigns on a credit card, any late payment could also affect the parent's credit history.
  • Together, look for a credit card that offers a low interest rate and no annual fee using sites like, or
  • Explain that it's important not to charge everyday items so that way if you have a emergency expense that you can't cover with savings, you can charge it. By teaching children about the challenges with credit and the value of paying for things with cash and making payment on time will only strengthen their financial management.
At any age, it's beneficial to explain the importance of a budget and how it can help you structure your spending and saving decisions.  
The Power Of The Pumpkin
pumpkin_pie.jpgThe Fall brings many new harvests - one of the most recognized being pumpkins. All
pumpkins are winter squash: mature fruit of certain species in the genus Cucurbita, and the health benefits are plentiful. It is a fruit with a punch!

Following are some top health benefits:
Pumpkins are not just for carving & decorating. There are so many delicious, healthy ways to cook and enjoy pumpkin. It's important to keep in mind, pumpkin pies, baked treats and lattes are often laden with unhealthy fats and additives. There are many ways to alter recipes to enjoy all of the plentiful health benefits listed above.  
The Street Fair Is Coming!
T he annual New Providence Street Fair will be in downtown New Providence on Sunday, October 22, 2017. The fair, presented by the NJ Sharing Network, and sponsored by Lantern Hill, Prestige Diner, and New Providence business, will be held on Springfield Avenue, between South Street and Livingston Avenue, from 10 AM until 5 PM.

The family-oriented street festival offers attractions for everyone, young and old. As in previous years, the event provides arts and entertainment for the kids, such as kiddie rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, balloons and a clown performer. The attendees are also able to enjoy great fair food like sausage and pepper sandwiches, hot dogs, shish-k-bobs, zeppoles, butterfly fries, kettle corn, ice cream and more. The event also offers food from local establishments and business community members. Street vendors present many unique items at great prices and local non-profit organizations host contests and games for all attendees.

This year, scarecrows will be decorating the downtown during the street fair. You can view them and then vote for your favorite. Ballots and ballot boxes will be available at participating downtown businesses.
See you at the fair!
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.
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The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974


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