June 2018
This Month's Newsletter
School's out for Summer! As you start your Summer vacation and break from school, it's a great time for you and your children to spend some time relaxing and rejuvenating from a long school year. We wish everyone a very happy and safe 4th of July.

This month's newsletter welcomes our new nurse practitioner, Romelia! We invite you to introduce yourself and discover all of the wonderful attributes she offers The Pediatric Center. In addition, we share an article from The Washington Post on the importance of outdoor play. We also include an article on heat stress and how to identify the warning signs. Finally, we provide information on the safety of sand boxes and how to ensure your children play in the safest conditions.  

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 pedcenter.com@gmail.com  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
Please Help Us Welcome Our New Nurse Practitioner
We are please to announce the addition of Romelia Hasegawa, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner, to our talented staff.

Romelia has been in pediatrics since 2009 and brings a wealth of knowledge to The Pediatric Center. She was previously an NP at the Metro Regional Diagnostic Treatment Center in Newark, New Jersey. Prior to Metro Regional, Romelia worked at Beth Israel Medical Center with extensive experience in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.
Romelia graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in nursing and a masters in science in nursing. She has experience caring for children who have suffered abuse or neglect. She was the first pediatric nurse practitioner in the state of New Jersey to be trained in child abuse pediatrics and the first to be deemed an expert in child abuse and neglect in the courts.
Romelia's kind and approachable disposition is an asset to the practice. She will be providing adolescent medicine for the practice that will include pap smears, sexual education, and well exams.

Romelia lives in Summit, NJ with her husband, son and dog. She is fluent in American Sign Language. We invite you to make an appointment with Romelia and experience all of the wonderful qualities she offers to our practice. 
Are Your Kids Spending Enough Time Outside?
According to an article in the Washington Post, kids may not be spending enough time outside. Collin O'Mara, head of the National Wildlife Federation, focuses the article on where children spend their time and how it impacts their lives. 

She shares, "the average American child spends five to eight hours a day in front of a digital screen, often at the expense of unstructured play in nature. The good news is departing from this trend is easier than you think, and quality outside time can fit into even the busiest of schedules. It is worth the effort; the benefits go beyond a little time spent in the fresh air."

She continues, "Over the past few decades, children's relationship with the great outdoors and nature has changed dramatically. Since the 1990s researchers have noticed a shift in how children spend their free time. The days of the free-range childhood, where kids spend hours outside playing in local parks, building forts, fording streams and climbing trees, have been mostly replaced by video games, television watching and organized activities such as sports and clubs.

We have traded green time for screen time - and it has had an impact on kids' well-being and development. Our approach to raising children has changed as well, as parents who allowed kids to play largely unsupervised from dawn to the dinner bell have yielded to "helicopter parents" who are afraid to allow their children to roam free, because of perceived safety concerns.

She highlights the importance of kids spending time outdoors and the benefits:
  • Better school performance. Time spent in nature and increased fitness improve cognitive function.
  • More creativity. Outdoor play uses and nurtures the imagination.
  • Much higher levels of fitness. Kids are more active when they are outdoors.
  • More friends. Children who organize their own games and participate in unstructured group activities are less solitary and learn to interact with their peers.
  • Less depression and hyperactivity. Time in nature is soothing, improves mood and reduces stress. It can also increase kids' attention span, because things move at a slower pace than they do on the screen.
  • Stronger bones. Exposure to natural light helps prevent vitamin D deficiency, making outdoorsy children less vulnerable to bone problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health issues.
  • Improved eyesight. Time spent outdoors can help combat increasing diagnoses of nearsightedness.
  • Better sleep. Exposure to natural light, and lots of physical activity, help reset a child's natural sleep rhythms.
  • A longer life span and healthier adult life. Active kids are more likely to grow into active adults and have fuller and more wholesome lives. 
Collin recommends spending more time exploring wildlife, committing to an hour of outdoor nature play every day, including creating a garden in your backyard.

Heat Stress Tips
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, i nfants and small children are not able soccer_players_kids.jpg to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. Every year, children die from heat stroke from being left in a hot car, often unintentionally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in children 3 and under. 

The academy offers tips for parents of infants and young children for the hot months:
  • Be especially aware of kids in the car when there is a change from the routine, ie. someone else is driving them in the morning, you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your childcare provider call if your child has not arrived within 10 minutes of the expected arrival time.
  • Place your cell phone, bag or purse in the back seat, so you are reminded to check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
  • The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures quickly, even when the outside temperature is not hot. Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you expect to come back soon. Lock your car when it is parked so children cannot get in without supervision.
  • Have your children drink plenty of water.
  • Plan for extra rest time - heat and a change from the normal routine leaves kids and parents feeling tired.

Heat Stress During Exercise

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated.

Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics.

Safety In The Sandbox
Have you ever considered the safety of the sandboxes your children play in? There are several beach-toys-sm.jpg safety considerations with sandboxes. 

Sandbox frames
Sandboxes are safe if constructed and filled with appropriate materials and properly maintained. Sandbox frames should not be made with inexpensive railroad ties. These may cause  splinters and may be saturated with creosote, a carcinogen. Non-toxic landscaping timbers or non-wood containers are preferred.

Play sand
In 1986, concern was first expressed that some types of commercially available play sand contained tremolite, a fibrous substance found in some crushed limestone and crushed marble. It was thought that the long-term effects of exposure to tremolite would be identical to those of  asbestos

Despite these concerns, however, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) denied a petition prohibiting marketing of play sand containing significant levels of tremolite. The CSPC currently has no standards or labeling requirements regarding the source or content of sand.

How to know if your play sand is safe:
  • Buy only natural river sand or beach sand.
  • Avoid products made from:
    • Crushed limestone
    • Crushed marble
    • Crushed crystalline silica (quartz)
    • Other products that are obviously dusty
  • When there is doubt, parents may send a sample to a laboratory to determine whether the sand contains tremolite or crystalline silica. Information about reliable laboratories can be obtained from the EPA Regional and State Asbestos Coordinators.
Preventing contamination
  • Children aren't the only ones who love the sand...so do insects and animals. Once installed, a sandbox should be covered when it isn't in use. 
  • If sand gets wet, it can harbor bacteria. Make sure to let the sand dry out thoroughly before covering it for the night.
  • Sand should be raked regularly to remove debris, clumps, or other foreign material.  
  • Do not allow your household pets to play with your child in the sandbox. They may mistake it for the litter box.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
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



Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.