May 2020
This Month's Newsletter
Did you know the month of May was named after a Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants? This past Memorial Day, we marked the unofficial start of Summer. We hope you had a restful, relaxing weekend. We wish all the moms a belated happy Mother's Day.

We also extend a warm congratulations to all of the recent and upcoming graduates - an incredible job, well done.

As restrictions opened up, the beaches started to see waves of visitors, giving many a sense of escape and hope. Although our governor has loosened the reins a bit, we encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing and wearing masks in public.  

In this month's newsletter, in partnership with the AAP, we encourage you to #CallYourPediatrician while the office is sanitary and quiet. We welcome bike season with safety protocols and rules. In addition, we discuss the dramatic increase in mental health issues with our youth - and recognize current struggles. Further, we offer a different perspective as we "Choose Kindness." Finally, we share information on our new virtual prenatal class and new mom support group.  

The Pediatric Center is here for all of your urgent medical needs, even when the office is closed. There is always someone on call from our practice. All you have to do is call: 908-508-0400.

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
It's Bike Season!
As we pull out our bikes from the garage and storage, it's important to inspect your bike and ensure it's safety before you get on the road and to follow bicycle rules and regulations.

Safety inspection
  • The seat should be adjusted to the proper height and locked in place
  • Make certain all parts are secure and working properly
  • Check that the tires are inflated properly
  • Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
  • A horn or bell, a rear-view mirror and a bright headlight also are recommended, especially if you plan to ride at night

Wearing a helmet

Technically, both adults and children should wear a helmet when riding a bike. The helmet should be certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead; 1-2 finger width above your eyebrow.
  • The side straps should be adjusted on both sides to form a "V" over the ears.
  • The left buckle should be centered under the chin. Tighten the strap until it is snug, allowing no more than 1-2 fingers under the strap.
  • Test to see if it fits right. There should be no movement rocking back and forth.

It's the law

According to the State of New Jersey, the law states ALL riders under the age of 17 must wear a helmet. Although your child might not think it's cool to wear a helmet, a helmet can be the one thing that saves your child from a brain injury from a bicycle accident.

Rules of the road
All traffic laws that apply to motorists, also apply to bicyclists. Some additional guidelines for bikes inclulde:
  • Riding single file in the direction of traffic
  • Always be alert - keeping your head moving looking for hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
  • Never hitch onto cars
  • Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder

The month of May is recognized as National Bike Month. As you hit the road, be sure to follow all of the recommendations and safety precautions. It can be life-saving. 

Source: National Safety Councel; NHTSA
Mental Health - Dramatic Increase in Youth
The American Academy of Pediatrics just released an astounding study about the mental health struggles of our youth:

"Over a 10-year period, the percentage of children who showed up in hospital emergency rooms for mental health disorders rose by 60% and visits for self-harm increased by 329%, according to a study published in the June 2020 Pediatrics

The study, "Children's Mental Health Emergency Department Visits - 2007-2016" (published online May 11), sought to analyze the pediatric volume and location of emergency departments serving children with mental health disorders. 

While the total number of children's emergency room visits remained stable over ten years, the visits for mental health disorders rose in all emergency departments, both metropolitan and non-urban. Visits for children with a substance-use disorder rose 159% while alcohol-related disorders fell 39%. 

Children with mental health disorders make up approximately 2-5% of all pediatric ED visits nationally, and this number is increasing, according to research."  Read the full article

As we recognize May as Mental Health Month - the timing is impeccable as we approach the 4th month of social distancing during this pandemic. Your children have been through an incredible transition. They have had to navigate a very new world - away from friends, extended family members. teachers and coaches. It can be very confusing for them and their transition (and recovery) could take time and have a lingering effect on their well-being. 

If you see your child struggling, please reach out to our office. Our practitioners are equip to offer mental health guidance, and if needed, refer you to a specialized professional. It is important to recognize signs of mental health issues early. The earlier you address it, the faster the recovery.

Source: AAP
Choose Kindness
Over the last 3 months, we have all been exposed to a very different way of life. Across the nation, we have all addressed the pandemic in many different ways and perspectives. 

As the governor starts to loosen restrictions, everyone will transition in different ways. 

If you have not yet watched the movie Wonder, it is worth every second - for the entire family. 

The theme of the movie is "Choose Kind". The last few months have been filled with anxiety, stress and tested patience. How apropos to reverse all of that negativity and focus on kindness.

There are scientifically proven benefits of being kind. Kindness produces oxytocin ("love hormone") which helps lower blood pressure and increases self-esteem and optimism. Perfect timing for National Blood Pressure Month in May.

It also promotes energy and happiness,  "Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease" (Christine Carter, "Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents") and lights up your pleasure center in your brain giving you a type of "high" as it stimulates the production of serotonin.

Kindness can also help alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.
There's no pill to take or long-term treatment. All it takes is being kind to another. During the next few weeks, try to appreciate that everyone has their own story/struggles/issues - just reaching out with kindness can tremendously benefit them...and you.

As a community, let's make a conscious effort to be kind throughout the summer. Give up your parking spot, buy the person in front of you their cup of coffee, give someone a compliment, write a rave review about a store employee, tell the ones you love in your life you love them...then sit back and appreciate the incredible chain reaction it will have for everyone around you.

NEW Virtual Mom Support Group
If you have recently had a new baby, we realize your experience is not typical of most new moms. In our new environment, it is a challenge to meet and talk with other new moms or have an outlet for questions and concerns. 

The Pediatric Center is now offering a weekly Virtual New Mom Support Group every Friday at 10 am. The classes will be facilitated by our own Dr. Mckegney via Zoom.

Simply register here. Please encourage other new moms to join you. The support group is open and free to the public.
NEW Virtual Prenatal Class

We Are Here For You

On-Site Lactation Support Center

T he Pediatric Center's Lactation Support Center and lactation suite are available to you to support breastfeeding your child.   

We offer complimentary lactation consultations and are now offering virtual visits.

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

Find More Topics On Our Blog
The Pediatric Center's blog is an invaluable resource for pediatric and parenting topics. The blog is right on our website . It includes topics such as "12 Super Foods for Lactation Aid", "Best Winter Skincare Tips" and so much more. 
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?
The Pediatric Center works with a wi de network of doctors we can refer to a pediatric specialist if you need one. 

As part of our practice, 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:  908-508-0400.
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill payment from 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,

Office:  908-508-0400
Billing Department:  786-249-1234
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 offer all students going to college the Meningococcal B vaccine. This vaccine is covered by insurance.  It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical. Please also discuss the new Gardasil vaccine with your practitioner.  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.  You can  write and post a review right on our website or on our Facebook page.  Thank you for your kind words!

Stay Connected!
Free Virtual Prenatal Class
Join our free, virtual prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
For Parents
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
New Mom Support Group
Are you a new mom and want to connect with other moms while learning about your newborn? Join our weekly support group.
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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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