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Monday, February 15

10:00am to 3:00pm

Urgent Care Only 


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Monday, May 31

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Monday, July 5

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Monday, September 6

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Monday, October 11

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Friday, December 24

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Saturday, December 25

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Posts for: February, 2014

February 26, 2014
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

Car Safety Seat Rules Change Again

February 24, 2014 at 11:47 am, by The Parents Perspective
By Stephanie Wood

If you thought your child’s car safety seat was complicated to install before, hold on to your tethers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a new rule that takes effect tomorrow requiring labels warning parents not to use the LATCH anchoring system (LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) once the child and the seat combined reach a weight of 65 pounds. Why? With both kids and car seats getting heavier, there is concern that the excess weight can cause the lower anchors to pull out of the floor during a crash, especially since close to a third of all parents neglect to use the top tether straps along with the LATCH system. This new 65-pound limit applies to the lower anchors only, however.  You should continue to use the top tethers at all times, regardless of your child’s size.

Could this be the beginning of the end for LATCH, designed a decade ago in an attempt to simplify safety seat installation? After all, you don’t need to use it. Seat belt installation (again, when used in conjunction with the top tethers) is equally safe and increasingly easier as the feds pile on the rules. With the new weight warnings, parents may just give up on LATCH altogether, especially when they are being advised to keep children in child safety seats longer than ever. In fact, with today’s car safety seats typically weighing an easy 25 pounds themselves, LATCH will cease to be usable once most kids graduate to front-facing seats. So why bother doing the added math when you are already counting your child’s hours of screen time, sleep, nutritional intake, physical activity, college fund contributions, and more?

The sad fact remains that with or without LATCH, car seats are misused 90 percent of the time, and the new weight limits are certainly not going to improve those numbers. The safest bet for all parents is to visit a car seat inspection station and have your installation checked by someone trained. To find one in your area, go to or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK.

February 11, 2014
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

Graco Recalling Nearly 3.8M Child Car Seats
Source – Associated Press

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped by buckles that may not unlatch.  The recall covers 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received at least 80 complaints about the seats. Parents reported having to use excessive force to unlatch the harness buckle. In some cases, the straps had to be cut to free children.  Affected models include Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that Graco has “not yet provided the agency with a remedy or notification schedule.”  NHTSA adds that owners can contact Graco at (800) 345-4109, or the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 [TTY: (800) 424-9153)] with questions.

February 06, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged




March 11th, 18th and 25th

5:00pm to 7:30pm

Bridge Street School, Northampton 



The Parent Cafe will be held Tuesdays, March 11, 18 and 25 from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the Bridge Street School, Northampton.  They are open to all parents and guardians from the Northampton area The focus is on families with young children.   Dinner and childcare will be provided. 

The Cafe series are sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools, Northampton/Hadley CFCE, Sunnyside Child Care, Northampton Parents Center, and Northampton Area Pediatrics - a group of parents and professionals dedicated to strengthening families.

Parent Cafe series are a unique way for parents to learn about raising children who will thrive and learn how to take care of themselves when faced with all of life’s challenges.  Being a great parent is part natural and part learned.  Parents will talk about every aspect of parenting and gather support from each other as they face the challenges of raising children.  The Café-like environment  offers a time for parents to talk with each other and not just listen to a speaker.  The table discussions will be guided by a table host.  

Families will eat dinner together and then the children will be cared for by experienced adults while the parents meet, sip coffee and discuss topics.

Parents are encouraged to attend all three sessions since discussion topics build from one session to the next.  Part of the value of the Cafe series is making connections and building a support network.


We are working on prizes (gift cards, books, toys, etc.) for all parents who participate.


For additional information or to register:  contact the Northampton Early Childhood Office at 587-1471 or






February 05, 2014
Category: In the News
Tags: Untagged

The Vaccination Effect: 100 Million Cases of Contagious Disease Prevented
By STEVE LOHR NY  11/27/2013

Vaccination programs for children have prevented more than 100 million cases of serious contagious disease in the United States since 1924, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The research, led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health, analyzed public health reports going back to the 19th century. The reports covered 56 diseases, but the article in the journal focused on seven: polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough.

Researchers analyzed disease reports before and after the times when vaccines became commercially available. Put simply, the estimates for prevented cases came from the falloff in disease reports after vaccines were licensed and widely available. The researchers projected the number of cases that would have occurred had the pre-vaccination patterns continued as the nation’s population increased.

The journal article is one example of the kind of analysis that can be done when enormous data sets are built and mined. The project, which started in 2009, required assembling 88 million reports of individual cases of disease, much of it from the weekly morbidity reports in the library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then the reports had to be converted to digital formats.

Most of the data entry — 200 million keystrokes — was done by Digital Divide Data, a social enterprise that provides jobs and technology training to young people in Cambodia, Laos and Kenya. Still, data entry was just a start. The information was put into spreadsheets for making tables, but was later sorted and standardized so it could be searched, manipulated and queried on the project’s website.

“Collecting all this data is one thing, but making the data computable is where the big payoff should be,” said Dr. Irene Eckstrand, a program director and science officer for the N.I.H.’s Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study.

The University of Pittsburgh researchers also looked at death rates, but decided against including an estimate in the journal article, largely because death certificate data became more reliable and consistent only in the 1960s, the researchers said.  But Dr. Donald S. Burke, the dean of Pittsburgh’s graduate school of public health and an author of the medical journal article, said that a reasonable projection of prevented deaths based on known mortality rates in the disease categories would be three million to four million.

The scientists said their research should help inform the debate on the risks and benefits of vaccinating American children.

Pointing to the research results, Dr. Burke said, “If you’re anti-vaccine, that’s the price you pay.”

The medical journal article notes the recent resurgence of some diseases as some parents have resisted vaccinating their children. For example, the worst whooping cough epidemic since 1959 occurred last year, with more than 38,000 reported cases nationwide.

The disease data is on the project’s website, available for use by other researchers, students, the news media and members of the public who may be curious about the outbreak and spread of a particular disease. Much of the data is searchable by disease, year and location. The project was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

 “I’m very excited to see what people will find in this data, what patterns and insights are there waiting to be discovered,” said Dr. Willem G. van Panhuis, an epidemiologist at Pittsburgh and lead author of the journal article.

The project’s name itself is a nod to the notion that data is a powerful tool for scientific discovery. It is called Project Tycho, after the 16th century Danish nobleman Tycho Brahe, whose careful, detailed astronomical observations were the foundation on which Johannes Kepler made the creative leap to devise his laws of planetary motion.

The open-access model for the project at Pittsburgh is increasingly the pattern with government data. The United States government has opened up thousands of data sets to the public.

Just how these assets will be exploited commercially is still in the experimental stage, other than a few well-known applications like using government weather data for forecasting services and insurance products.

But the potential seems to be considerable. Last month, the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the consulting firm, projected that the total economic benefit to companies and consumers of open data could reach $3 trillion worldwide.

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