July 2019
This Month's Newsletter
It's hard to believe we are at the end of July! We hope you have an opportunity to enjoy the remaining weeks of Summer with friends and family. 

In this month's newsletter, Dr. Shih authors an article on high school teens - and ways to cope with stress and anxiety. We also share an article from the American Academy of Pediatrics discussing the joint effort with the American Heart Association to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks in response to health concerns. Finally, we provide guidelines on when it's time to see your doctor - based on signs and symptoms of colds and ailments.   

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
High School Teens - The Challenge is Real
By Dr. Emily Shih

Adolescence today is dynamic and complex.  The push and pull of blossoming independence, developing maturity and self-awareness is compiled with worry about the present and the future.  It is a challenging path for today's high school students.  
There is a lot of pressure internally and externally to succeed academically, athletically, and socially - in school and on social media. There is a constant concern of failure or not fitting in...and then there is the added pressure of being accepted into the college of their choice.  
Most often, the stress high schoolers experience is manifested inside, and not often vocalized - sometimes they may not even realize they are stressed.  The stress may appear in the form of headaches, nausea, and abdominal pain as mental stress can often present as physical ailments. When a person is anxious, they may be more irritable, have difficulty concentrating, and experience sleep disturbances. This physical and mental toll can cause them to miss several days of school - which can build on the level of stress when having to make-up what they missed.
To cope with stress your teen needs to first identify they are stressed, then understand the causes and have tools readily available to reduce stress.
Stress Reduction Techniques  
  1. Quality sleep is vital.  Eight to nine hours of sleep per night is recommended. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot "make it up" on the weekends.  The body needs rest each night.  Sometimes high school students find it difficult to find that much time to devote to sleep, after a long day of school, homework, and activities.  Limiting screen time on weekdays and avoiding all electronics one hour prior to bed may help to increase the quantity and quality of sleep.  It is also important to turn off the phone entirely and not just to vibrate while doing homework or sleeping to minimize distractions. 
  2. Exercise.  The endorphins that are released during exercise help reduce stress and decrease fatigue.  There are many good options, such as running, biking or yoga.  Going for a walk outside is also a good alternative to get fresh air and connect with your surroundings.
  3. Vocalize. Talking about the pressures with others can help relate to each other and find a support system. Spending time with family and friends is a healthy way to vocalize stressors. 
  4. Unplug. Unplugging from devices and the internet and interacting with others in the real world helps you experience real life vs. virtual life.  The images you see online are typically not real-world moments, nor do they reflect reality. Getting wrapped up in social media sets unrealistic standards that are often unachievable, or aspirational.
  5. Breathe. Slow, deep, breaths are an effective way to immediately reduce stress. 5,5,7 breathing is a good technique for controlled breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and exhale for 7 seconds. 
There's so much more... read the full article
Sugary Drinks Put Children At Risk
"In a joint policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) endorsed a suite of public health measures-including excise taxes, limits on marketing to children, and financial incentives for purchasing healthier beverages-designed to reduce kids' consumption of sugary drinks. 

Children and teens consume gallons of sugary drinks every year, including  sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and sodas. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children and teens consume fewer than 10 percent of calories from added sugars. But data show that children and teens now consume 17 percent of their calories from added sugars-nearly half of which comes from drinks alone. 

'For children, the biggest source of added sugars often is not what they eat, it's what they drink,' said pediatrician Natalie D. Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement. 'On average, children are consuming over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year. This is enough to fill a bathtub, and it doesn't even include added sugars from food...This presents risks to our children's health including  tooth decay, diabetes,  obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels & higher triglycerides and  heart disease.'

The AAP and AHA recommend:
  • Local, state and national policymakers should consider raising the price of sugary drinks, such as via an excise tax, along with an accompanying educational campaign. 
  • Federal and state governments  support efforts to decrease sugary drink marketing to children and teens.
  • Healthy drinks such as water and milk should be the default beverages on children's menus and in vending machines, and federal nutrition assistance programs should ensure access to healthy food and beverages and discourage consumption of sugary drinks.
  • Children, adolescents, and their families should have ready access to credible nutrition information, including on  nutrition labels, restaurant menus, and advertisements.
  • Hospitals should serve as a model and establish policies to limit or discourage purchase of sugary drinks.

The policy statement is the first time AAP has recommended taxes on sugary drinks."

Source: HealthyChildren.org
When To See The Doctor
Even thought it's summertime, there are many kids getting sick. How do you know when you should bring your child in to see the doctor? What should you look for?

Having a sick child can be a stressful experience. Your child may be having a hard time sleeping, feeling uncomfortable, dealing with pain, and concerned about missing daily activities. 

Sometimes, you may find it difficult to decide when to bring your child in for a sick visit or when to just treat your child's symptoms at home.

Typical symptoms that may require an in office sick visit appointment:
  • Fever in a child under three months old
  • Severe headache or a stiff neck
  • Changes in breathing patterns, especially any trouble breathing
  • Changes in skin color, such as looking very pale, reddish, or bluish
  • Child refuses to drink fluids or stops urinating
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • High fever or persistent fever that lasts more than three days in a row
  • Child is unusually quiet and inactive
  • Signs of extreme irritability or pain
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or stomach
  • Widespread rash
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then get worse
If you are still not sure when to come in for an appointment, please call our office. You can also ask to speak to one of our nurses for advice and recommendations for making your child more comfortable.
On-Site Lactation Support Center
T he 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.

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?
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  
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 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.  


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!
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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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