We’re committed to helping parents and caregivers raise healthy, happy kids. Learn about the programs and resources available to you.

Healthy living resources

Caring for a sick child

  • Helping your child adjust: Learn what you can do to make your child’s hospital stay more comfortable and how the Children’s Hospital can support you.
  • Caring for a Young Person with Cancer: Learn when to get professional help, what you can do on your own, and how to carry out and adjust your child’s care plan.

Child safety

  • Bringing Home Baby: five tips to keep your newborn safe:
    1. Sleep safely. Always place babies on their backs to sleep on a firm sleep surface free from fluffy blankets, pillows, toys, and stuffed animals. Never allow a baby to sleep in the bed with an adult or another child.
    2. Prevent falls and drowning. Never leave a baby unattended on top of a changing table or near the tub, sink, or a container filled with water.
    3. Travel safely. Always keep baby harnessed when carrying an infant seat. Use an age and size appropriate car seat for your baby. Schedule a car seat inspection by making an appointment at 717-531-SAFE (7233).
    4. Prevent burns and scalds. Never carry a baby while cooking or carrying hot foods or liquids. Set the water heater at 120 degrees or cooler.
    5. Prepare for emergencies. Post numbers by the phone including “911,” the pediatrician, and a neighbor. Become CPR certified.
  • Safe Kids Dauphin County: Take advantage of this coalition’s injury-prevention programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops, and sports clinics.
  • Child abuse prevention: Learn about Children’s Hospital programs aimed at ending the maltreatment of children.

Parenting tips and advice

  • Breastfeeding resources: Get the information and support you need to have a successful breastfeeding experience.
  • Well care and vaccines: Be prepared for your well-child visits so that you can make the most of them.

Exercise, nutrition, and weight management

  • The PRO Wellness Center, part of the Penn State College of Medicine, is committed to educating and inspiring youth and their families to live healthier lives through exercise and proper nutrition.
  • Pediatric Weight Loss Program: Make an appointment for our multi-disciplinary weight management program that meets the specific needs of overweight children and teens.
  • PA Vent Camp: Learn about our free week-long summer experience for ventilator-dependent kids and teens.

Other resources

Hummingbird Program: See how we provide support for children living with life-limiting conditions, their families, and their professional caregivers.

Reach Out and Read Program

Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit that helps children gain a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Thanks to generous community and institutional partners, we at Penn State Health have been able to implement the Reach Out and Read program and purchase more than 6,300 books for kids in central Pennsylvania. 

In particular, the Burgess McCormac Foundation, Franklin H. and Ruth L. Wells Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, Association of Faculty and Friends of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Reading Is Sweet Highmark Walk Team, the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and other private donors have been able to establish and grow this exciting initiative. Currently, we are able to gift one new, developmentally-appropriate book to kids at Hope Drive Pediatrics and six Family and Community Medicine clinic sites. Over the last year, some of our larger clinic sites gave out approximately 1,000 books each, and our caregivers were able to share invaluable literacy advice with parents.

Because of our various partners, we can purchase and distribute these books to help care for the whole family. The program not only normalizes the habit of reading together, but it also helps parents and guardians recognize reading delays earlier and build a home library. We look forward to expanding Reach Out and Read so that we can make a difference for more kids and families in our region.

If you are interested in supporting Reach Out and Read, please visit engage.pennstatehealth.org and select “Give Today,” noting Reach Out and Read in the Comments box.

About Our Foundation Donors

The Burgess McCormac Foundation has a strong legacy of supporting children’s health through the Burgess McCormac Foundation Library on the third floor of the Children’s Hospital and the Burgess-McCormac Pediatric Patient Resource Library Support Fund. The Franklin H. and Ruth L. Wells Foundation has also been a generous partner to the Medical Center by contributing to research initiatives, the Women’s Health Center and the Wells Foundation Patient Education Simulation Lab.