The Wellness Roundup With Dr. Jill

School Mask Guidance Update

The CDC just updated their mask recommendations and said that cloth masks are not as effective as well-fitting surgical masks or respirators (KN95s/non-surgical N95s) in protecting the general population against covid.

Masking is a relatively low risk mitigation technique in otherwise healthy children and our goal is to keep children in school so if masking in general will help reduce the transmission of airborne particles between school children then the benefit outweighs the risk. N95 masks do have the best filtration of all the mask options, but they are arguably the most restrictive and uncomfortable of the options.

The bottom line is that the best mask is one that is well fitting on a child’s face and one that he or she will wear and tolerate wearing properly for the full school day.

We would rather children not have to wear a mask at all during school anymore. However, while not ideal, having to temporarily wear an N95 for multiple hours per day during school would not harm an otherwise healthy low-risk child. 


Another 5 Star review for Dr. Namm and Healthy Kids Pediatrics! 

“As a longtime patient of Healthy Kids Pediatrics, we typically see Dr. Jill for all of our visits. However, at our last sick visit we saw Dr. Namm and were very happy with her. Dr. Namm is kind, patient, knowledgeable and professional. She made my son feel comfortable with seeing a new doctor. It’s nice to know we have another great option when we need a doctor for our kids. If you know Dr. Jill, you can trust she would only choose the best to work beside her. Thank you Healthy Kids Pediatrics!” – Lisa Rusek

Thank you for sharing your positive feedback!

-HKP ⭐️

Dr. Jill and CNN’s Paula Newton Discuss Kids Returning to School amidst Omicron Variant Surge

CNN International: What do we know about children being more susceptible to this variant, amid reports that hospitalizations for that age group are hitting record highs?

Dr. Jill– At least 7.5 million children in the USA have tested positive to COVID-19. That’s 2.5 million children testing positive as of September 2021 which means roughly 1 in 10. In the past few weeks we’ve seen more covid cases in kids than during the entire pandemic. Covid is outweighing flu, RSV, and the other common cold viruses. Omicron variant is causing both upper and lower respiratory infections; also causing croup (that barky cough children can develop with some viral illnesses). The under 5 year-old population is getting sicker (partly because there is no vaccine for children under 5). Thankfully, even if a child develops a covid infection despite the vaccine, they are likely to have only mild fever and cold symptoms. And, even with the significantly more contagious omicron variant surging, vaccinated kids have the advantage of milder cases.

CNN– More schools are at least starting the new year doing remote learning. Is there with what we know now a safe way to conduct in-person learning?

Dr. Jill: In-person learning is so important for so many reasons including academically, socially, developmentally, and for basic health reasons (meals). In areas of high transmission like the Northeastern USA, health experts and school officials are divided about the kids going back to in-person learning. Parents are also divided; they want to of course all keep their children and elderly or sick family members safe, but they want the children to be in school with their peers. Testing before returning is a pragmatic approach and has its merits for those with access to the test, however, finding ways to get tested can be difficult in some areas. If a test is not available, then it is best to have children stay home if they are sick. Some schools are implementing a “test to stay” policy (exposed children get tested a few times a week to allow them the best chance to stay in school) but, the federal program to give out testing kits may not be ready for several weeks.

CNN: What Advice do you have for parents if they are unsure about vaccinations or concerned about sending their kids back to school?

Dr. Jill: When parents come to me concerned about the vaccine, I remind them that there is no vaccine in history with side effects that were not already known within the first two months of the vaccine being given. Over 8.8 billion doses of covid vaccine have been given worldwide, we know the vaccine is safe and effective. The highest percentage of children hospitalized (almost all as per the AAP) are those who are unvaccinated. The CDC estimates that in the 12-17 year-old population hospitalization rates are 10x higher in those not vaccinated.

The risk of MIS-C is definitely possible weeks to months after an acute covid infection and long term complications can be significant for kids even who had mild or no symptoms; vaccination reduces that risk dramatically. Overall, vaccination is one of the multiple imperfect layers of protection our children have to go back to school as safely as possible. In addition to masks, hand hygiene, and distancing if possible, the things I tell my patients they can always do every day is get plenty of quality sleep at night, choose whole nutritious foods as much as possible, get some intentional movement or exercise in each day, and practice positivity an gratitude to help keep their immune systems functioning well.

If we can follow the trends of other countries like South Africa and the UK the omicron variant will hopefully peak fast and we can recover fast.

Barnes and Noble features Both of Dr. Jill’s Children’s Books at their Clifton Commons Location

Today was an exciting day for Healthy Kids Pediatrics! Seeing BOTH of Dr. Jill’s books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble is simply awesome.

Special thanks to Josh Verbel, store manager at Barnes & Noble, for featuring The Universe Is Listening and You Are Abundant in the #childrensbooks section for #Mind#Body, and #Health.

If you were interested in picking up a copy of Dr. Jill’s books but haven’t bought them yet, please swing on by the #CliftonNJ store and purchase them there. Barnes and Noble is doing a very cool thing by featuring some really talented #local#authors like Dr. Jill at this location and if things go well, The Universe is Listening and You Are Abundant may have the opportunity to be featured in 600 more locations!

At a time when children’s #mentalhealth has been declared a #nationalemergency in our country by The American Academy of Pediatrics The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and The Children’s Hospital Association, Dr. Jill’s books offer a desperately needed message of #gratitude#mindfulness, and #positivethinking . Children AND their #parents may not fully appreciate how #anxiety and #depression are directly connected to one’s thoughts and daily #mindset.

The faster we can get this information out to families the faster we can equip our #children with the tools and strategies necessary to help them thrive despite the overwhelming disruption and adversity caused by the ongoing #pandemic.

Cheers, -m

Even The Elf on a Shelf got his Covid-19 Vaccine!

We seriously have the best families here at Healthy Kids Pediatrics!😎

Nikolas and Camden were two of the nearly 500 brave little kids who came to our vaccine clinics this month. 💪

Their mom, Haydee, got super-creative and even got their Elf on a Shelf (Bocky Booky) to join in on the festivities as well! 👍

Thank you to everyone who has come to our office to get vaccinated and to all of our families for your continuing efforts to help us help keep our local community stay as safe and healthy as possible.🙏


“One woman whom I admire for her contributions to society is my pediatrician, Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino”

The Healthy Kids Team would like to thank Sierra Mohamed for her kind words and wish her all the best as she heads off to high school. This was one of the essays she wrote to accompany her enrollment application.

Dr. Jill loves that Sierra has been a patient here at HKP since she was a baby and knows knows that she’ll her star will shine bright anywhere she goes.

Best wishes, Sierra! -HKP

“One woman whom I admire for her contributions to society is my pediatrician, Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino, or Dr. Garripoli. Dr. Garripoli has been my pediatrician since I was a baby; I find this amazing. I admire her for being a woman who is not afraid of hard work, not afraid of failing, who is entrepreneurial, for being a woman who succeeds, and for being the author of her own book.I remember visiting Dr. Garripoli at the previous place where she worked. Now, she has settled into a new town and owns her own clinic where she takes care of all the children who come to her office. Dr. Garripoli has also written a book titled, The Universe is Listening. This book is important because it is intended to empower children to discover happiness through positive thinking.

Doing things like opening your own practice, writing a book, or taking care of kids takes time and effort, it is hard work, but by being dedicated, she was able to achieve all of these goals. Dr. Garripoli’s story has impacted me because it shows me that while you are doing one thing, you can also be working hard at another thing even though there may be a chance of failing at one or even all of those things. I strive to be like her and work hard so that maybe one day, I could own my own clinic, or invent some new device or process that can be helpful to others, write my own book, or maybe even achieve all of these goals.”




Dr. Jill’s Children’s Books featured in The Sparta Public Library

Thank you Miss Morgan, the Youth Services Librarian at Sparta Public Library, for featuring this week Dr. Jill’s new book, You Are Abundant, as well as her first book, The Universe is Listening!

🎉If you think that your local library and community would benefit from Dr. Jill’s books, please have a library staff member or Children’s Wellness representative reach to our office at



Healthy Kids Pediatrics Teams with some VIPs to Help Alleviate Food Insecurity

Cheers to Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino & Marcello Pedalino from the Healthy Kids Pediatrics Team, our good friend Mitch Morrison, and the awesome folks over at The Sparta Food Pantry, Newton Medical Center, Merriam Elementary School, and Halsted Middle School for helping to make a difference again this year!

Wishing all of our families a safe, healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving!



Dr. Jill’s New Children’s Book is Here! YOU ARE ABUNDANT: A children’s guide to fulfillment through the power of gratitude and appreciation

Dr. Jill’s new children’s book is here!🎉 

We are so excited to let all of our families know that “You Are Abundant: A children’s guide to fulfillment through the power of gratitude and appreciation” is available for purchase at The Healthy Kids Pediatrics office or online at🙌 

Special thanks to Robert Valente, Suzy Gujda, Dr. Sue Kressly, and Dawn Rhode for sharing their positive feedback! 🙏


“‘You Are Abundant’ serves as a poignant reminder for children to appreciate who and what they have in their lives and to believe in the limitless potential they are all born with. In her words and in her practice, Dr. Jill strives to make sure that children are healthy, not just physically, but emotionally, too. I cannot recommend highly enough this story of appreciation, self-confidence, perspective, and positivity. I can’t wait to share it with my daughter, son, and all of the children in my school.”-Robert Valente, Principal at Huber Street Elementary School 

“She does it again! In a world that focuses on what we don’t have, Dr. Jill sends a powerful message reminding us just how important positivity, gratitude, and the gift of true abundance is. More than ever, this is a must read for children & families to read together! Life is better lived looking at the glass half full, as Dr. Jill always does!”-Suzy Gujda, Entrepreneur and Mother of Five 

“As many children and families are stressed and struggling, Dr. Jill reminds us that we can all create resilience by pausing, and mindfully appreciating our abundance.”-Dr. Sue Kressly, Owner and Pediatrician at Kressly Pediatrics 

“As children attempt to navigate uncertain times and unsettling situations, their perspectives can naturally gravitate towards fear and anxiety. “You are abundant” teaches children to focus on what one has and what one can control. These skills can be such an important component to working through those difficult feelings and maintaining resiliency. Such a valuable message shared by Dr. Jill!”-Dawn Rhode, Counselor at Meaningful Directions Therapeutic Services

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