March 2018
This Month's Newsletter
Happy official Spring!

This month's newsletter includes tools to prevent poisioning in recognition of National Poison Prevention Week this March. We also discuss e-cigarettes and the exposure to carcinogenic compounds. Finally, we provide an article on nutrition for optimal immunity and health in observance of National Nutrition Month.   

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
Protect Your Child: Prevent Poisoning
Poisoning can happen in many ways, not just with the obvious triggers. 
March 18th-March 24th was National Poison Prevention Week - we share reminders of how to keep your child safe.

Most poisonings occur when parents are not paying close attention. While you are busy doing other things, your child may be exploring closets or under bathroom sinks, where dangerous household items are often stored. Children are at risk for poisoning because they want to taste things and put them in their mouths.

R emember to always keep a close eye on your child. Watch your child even more closely when you are away from home-especially at a grandparent's home, where medicines are often left out and within a child's reach.

Keep Dangerous Items Out of Reach
The best way to keep your child safe from poisoning is to lock up dangerous household items out of your child's reach, including:
Always store medicines and household products in their original containers. Children can get confused if you put them in containers that were once used for food, especially empty drink bottles, cans, or cups. Also, many dangerous items look like food or drinks. For example, your child may mistake powdered dish soap for sugar or lemon liquid cleaner for lemonade.

How to Make your Home Poison-Safe
In the kitchen
  • Store medicines, cleaners, lye, furniture polish, dishwasher soap, and other dangerous products in locked cabinets, out of sight and reach of children.
  • If you must store items under the sink, use safety latches that lock every time you close the cabinet.
In the bathroom
  • Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. But remember, these caps are child resistant, not childproof, so store them in a locked cabinet.
  • Get rid of leftover or expired medicines.
    • Take medicines to your police department or community program if they have a drug collection program or household hazardous waste disposal program.
    • Mix medicines with coffee grounds or kitty litter, seal tightly in a plastic bag or container, and discard where children cannot get them. Remember to remove labels with personal information from prescription medicines.
    • Only flush medicines down the toilet or pour down the drain if the patient information materials say it's OK.
  • Store everyday items like toothpaste, soap, and shampoo in a different cabinet from dangerous products.
  • Take medicine where children cannot watch you & try to copy you.
  • Call medicine by its correct name. Check the label every time you give medicine. This will help you to be sure you are giving the right medicine in the right amount to the right person. Mistakes are more common in the middle of the night, so always turn on a light when using any medicine.
In the garage and basement
  • Keep paints, varnishes, thinners, pesticides, and fertilizers in a locked cabinet.
  • Read labels on all household products before you buy them. Try to find the safest ones for the job. Buy only what you need to use right away.
  • Open the garage door before starting your car to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be sure that coal, wood, or kerosene stoves and appliances are in good working order. If you smell gas, turn off the stove or gas burner, leave the house, and call the gas company.
In the entire house
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Contact your local fire department for information on how many you need and where to install them.
Laundry packets
Recently, teens trying to get clicks and likes on their social media pages have put themselves in danger by putting laundry detergent pods in their mouth. No one wants to see an internet joke become a family tragedy. Laundry packets are toxic and should never be ingested.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of 10 deaths from ingesting laundry packets; two were children; eight adult victims all suffered from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Overall Safety Tips and Resources
  • Always use and re-seal child safety caps, including on liquid nicotine.
  • Lock up household cleaners, laundry pods and medicines. Keep them out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • Keep medicines in their original child resistant containers.
  • Never call medicine "candy."
  • Don't take medicines in front of children, they tend to imitate adults.
  • Keep the poison hotline number 1-800-222-1222 nearby.
E-Cigarettes - What You Should Know
The American Academy of Pediatrics published an article this March citing new research regarding the use of e-cigarettes by teens and the exposure to carcinogenic compounds.

The article states:

Manufacturers often market e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to combustible tobacco products, and many teens believe e-cigarettes are safe. But new research provides more evidence about the risks of these products. 

A study in the April 2018 issue of Pediatrics , " Adolescent Exposure To Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals From E-Cigarettes ," (published online March 5) examined the levels of volatile organic compounds in urine of three groups of teens:
  • those who exclusively used e-cigarettes
  • dual users of both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes
  • those who did not smoke at all

Researchers tested for volatile organic compounds known to be toxic including propylene oxide, acrylamide, acrylonitrile, and crotonaldehyde. Those who used e-cigarettes had up to three times greater amounts of five volatile organic compounds in their urine, compared to teens who did not use e-cigarettes. 


Dual users had levels up to three times higher than the e-cigarette only group. Fruit flavored e-cigarette products produced significantly higher levels of acrylonitrile, which is a concern for teens because fruit flavors were the most popular choice and acrylonitrile is a known carcinogen. Fifty-five percent of teens who used only e-cigarettes, and 67 percent of dual users reporting using fruit flavors most often. 


The researchers conclude that just as with traditional cigarettes, messaging to teens must include warnings about the potential risk of toxic exposure to carcinogenic compounds when using these products.


E-cigarettes are common among teens and have become more mainstream as a "safer" alternative. Ask your child if they are familiar with e-cigarettes and let them know the risks. It's important for them to be aware of products being used among their peers and why it's important to avoid them for their own safety.

The Secret To Good Nutrition
As the winter temperatures and weather continues through Spring, we are still strong_baby_vegetables.jpg experiencing bouts of sickness. So how do you try to defend yourself? The best defense is good nutrition. There are some important components to a healthy diet that will help you and your children keep strong and healthy.

Protein is a key component to building immunity. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts.  The Institute of Medicine recommends that 10 to 30 percent of the calories a child  over age 3 takes in should  come from protein . On the average, this equates to 19 grams of protein  daily for boys and girls aged 4 to 9 and 34 grams of protein  per day  for kids aged 9 to 13.

Vitamins and Minerals
There are several vitamins and minerals that work as anti-oxidants and help keep immunity strong including Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, C and Folic Acid. 

Zinc and Iron are also important, but they should be ingested in moderation as too much can actually have the opposite effect and lower immunity. Most of these vitamins/minerals can be ingested in the food you eat: green leafy veggies, beans, eggs, dairy, lean meats, fruits and whole grains.

Ingest Carbs 
Eating carbs post-exercise is said to help build your immune system and reduce stress hormones. Healthy carbs include "real" foods such as fruits, veggies and healthy grains.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is critical to helping your body function. Dehydration can be the main reason for fatigue. When you exercise, especially in hotter weather, it's important to rehydrate 125-150% of fluid loss during exercise. Thirst is regulated in the brain. You are already very dehydrated when you even begin to feel thirsty.  You have to stay ahead of it.

Studies suggest probiotic and prebiotic ingestion reduces sick days.

Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. They are said to be great stress inhibitors and promote immunity. These can be found in foods like kale, hot peppers, onion, apples, etc. 

Adequate rest is crucial for recovery, keeps stress hormones low and repairs mental and physical function. Consistent sleep patterns and getting enough sleep to repair your body is crucial in keeping immunity & performance strong.

Keeping regular stress at bay is important. Stress can lower immunity levels and increase fatigue. The body may even start to hold onto some fat. 

Nutrition is a big component of your day to day. It dictates everything - how your body responds to stress, your energy level and a strong immune system. Getting enough anti-oxidants, keeping stress levels in control and being able to replenish & repair your body are key to optimizing your health and energy levels.

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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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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