August 2019
This Month's Newsletter
As Labor Day approaches and the school year begins, we wish everyone a fantastic start to Fall. 

In this month's newsletter, we shed some light on the celebration of Labor Day, and how it began. Dr. Clare Cardo McKegney authors an article on the transition to motherhood and misdirected judgement. We also recognize National Eye Exam Month with an article on the stages of eye exams and recommended protocol. Finally, we offer tools and guidance on developing good habits for students as we move into the new school year. 

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
What Exactly Is Labor Day?
Each year, on the first Monday in September, we celebrate "Labor Day". Do you ever wonder how Labor Day began and why we celebrate it?

The US Department of Labor describes it as " a creation of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

As we all gather with family and friends this year to celebrate the unofficial end of Summer with Labor Day weekend, we stop to recognize the significance of this recognition, which was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. 

"By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday."

Labor Day has become a nationwide celebration. A time to reflect on the past and appreciate the great feats of Americans throughout the decades.

Source: DOL.gov
The Transition Into Motherhood
Clare Cardo McKegney, DNP, APN, CPNP

Is It Ok For New Moms To Ask For Help?
I recently sat down with a new mom and her one month old baby.  She shared how she couldn't believe how becoming a mother made her feel so incompetent. She was amazed at how disorganized she was, how insecure in her decision making was, and what a whirlwind just getting prepared for a doctor's appointment can be.  She expressed that earlier in the week she had told a friend that she was looking into getting a second set of hands for a few hours a day. Her friend made her feel guilty for wanting help.  This mom shared with me that she was a distance from her sister and parents. That her sister was significantly younger and had no interest in a new baby. She also felt her mom and dad did not have the stamina for assisting her with her needs. As we sat and talked I shared with her that all too often I see new mothers pretending that their transition into motherhood is an easy one. Usually it isn't until long after the baby is older that a women reveals how hard it was to "get it together."

Why Is The Transition Into Motherhood So Lacking?
Most people starting a new job or new role in their workplace are given an orientation, a mentor, and time to transition. You often do not begin a new job sleep deprived. At the start of a new job, there is someone on the team to bounce off the questions/concerns/worries about the new position.  When I look at the transition into parenthood (the hardest job I have ever had to date) I think our orientation/mentorship/ and time allotted for transitions is lacking. Our society doesn't allow us a lot of time at all to transition into this new role.  If we think long and hard we realize we are so much more forgiving to people starting a new job than people becoming parents for the first time.

Don't Be A Hero
I think it is important for new parents to be open to help... continue reading.

Eyes Are The Gateway
In recognition of National Eye Exam Month, we offer some guidance on how to ensure your child is on the right path.

During your baby's first year of life, their vision develops quickly. Newborns can typically see large shapes, bright colors and recognize faces. They are examined for eye structural abnormalities, such as cataract, corneal opacity, and ptosis, endorsed by the the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

By 3-4 months, they can start to focus on smaller objects and differentiate the difference between colors (particularly red and green).  After 4 months, both of their eyes are working together and they start to develop depth perception. By 12 months, a child's vision reaches adult levels. 

A baby's vision develops quickly during the first year of life, therefore your pediatrician will check your baby's eyes at each  well-child visit
Even after the first year,  regular eye exams by your child's doctor are important to identify problems that may arise later in childhood.  

What is your doctor looking for during an eye exam?
  • For children younger than three years, they determine whether each eye can fixate on an object, maintain fixation, and then follow the object into various gaze positions. 
  • Typically, the test is performed binocularly (both eyes) and then monocularly (each eye). 
  • If the child is unable to follow these maneuvers, it can be an indication of significant visual impairment. 
  • For children older than three years, physicians typically use picture cards, wall charts, or vision testing machines.
Early detection
If an eye disorder is detected, early treatment in children is important to avoid future visual impairment.   All children who are found to have an ocular abnormality or who fail vision assessment should be referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist or an eye care specialist appropriately trained to treat pediatric patients.

If you suspect your child may have an issue with their eyes, please make an appointment with one of our pediatricians to do an initial exam. It's important not to wait until your annual well-visit.

Source: AAP News and Journals; AAFP.org
Developing Good Habits
The school year is about to begin, and establishing good homework and studying habits from the beginning could have a very positive impact on a successful year. 

Creating an environment that is conducive to doing homework is best to start a young age.

Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.

Some helpful tips:
  • Schedule ample time for homework; build this time into choices about participation in after school activities. 
  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time. 
  • Supervise computer and Internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but avoid doing your child's homework for him or her.
  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
  • Establish a good sleep routine. Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. The optimal amount of sleep for most adolescents (13 to 18 years of age) is in the range of 8 to 10 hours per night. 
  • Some children need help organizing their homework and remembering their assignments. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems. 
By high school, it's not uncommon for teachers to ask students to submit homework electronically and perform other tasks on a computer. If your child doesn't have access to a computer or the Internet at home, work with teachers and school administration to develop appropriate accommodations. 

If your child is struggling with a particular subject, speak with your child's teacher for recommendations on how you or another person can help your child at home or at school. If you have concerns about the assignments your child is receiving, talk with his or her teacher.

For general homework problems that cannot be worked out with the teacher, a tutor may be considered. 

Instilling these ideas early will help the school year run smoothly.
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.
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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
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The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974



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