Author: New Jersey Pediatric Neuroscience Institute

Nervous About Your Kids and Contact Sports? Follow These Tips

October 20, 2021
Clinical Contributors to this Story
Catherine Mazzola, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pediatric Neurosurgery.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive some type of treatment for sports injuries every year. One of the most serious injuries that can occur in youth sports is a concussion. If unrecognized or untreated, concussion can lead to long-term consequences such as depression or cognitive impairment. Because of this, it’s important for parents and children to understand the symptoms of concussion and take action to prevent it.

Read the full article here –

OCTOBER NEWSLETTER – Halloween Safety & National ADHD Awareness Month


Halloween Safety & National ADHD Awareness Month





Remind your little ghosts, goblins, super heroes and fairy princesses to follow our tips for a safe and happy Halloween!




October is ADHD Awareness Month and is celebrated  with events and activities happening all across the country and now, around the world, on the ground and on the Internet, capturing the notice of numerous national, regional and local media outlets resulting in articles, interviews and feature stories.





We Hope Everyone Has a Fun Fall Season!



A Safe Halloween Is a Happy Halloween:

  • Stay in groups
  • Always accompany young children
  • Look both ways when crossing the street
  • Examine all treats before eating
  • Avoid dark houses
  • To hand out treats, consider using gloves! Drop the candy in each bag.
  • Make sure kids wear proper “masks” under their costume
  • Remind children not to share candy, drinks, or other treats
  • Enjoy with caution!
Experience an accidental head injury?
Make an appt to see us today.

Prevent Halloween Injuries:

  • Adults should perform the actual carving of the pumpkin to avoid cuts
  • Pick costumes made from 100% synthetic material like nylon or polyester to avoid burns
  • Make sure makeup and glitter is nontoxic
  • Costumes should be well fitting to avoid falling
  • Flashlights or bright colored costumes for visibility to drivers
Halloween tips retrieved from

ADHD Awareness:

  • ADHD IS caused by chemical, structural, and connectivity differences in the brain, mostly as a result of genetics. It is NOT caused by poor parenting, falls, video games.
  • ADHD is comprised of:
    • deficits in behavioral inhibition
    • difficutly with sustained attention
    • resistance to distraction
    • challenges with regulation of one’s activity level to the demands of a situation (hyperactivity or restlessness)
Want your child evaluated for ADHD?
Make an appointment with Dr. Kornitzer 



The Current Management of Epilepsy Patients

Join Us on Facebook Live! @njpni

Thursday November 11, 2021 | 7-8 pm

The Current Management of Epilepsy Patients

Dr. Eric Segal; Pediatric Epileptologist
Dr. Arno Fried; Pediatric Neurosurgeon
Dr. Luke Tomycz; Pediatric Neurosurgeon
Dr. John Collins; Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Sponsored by LivaNova

SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER – Back To School & Craniosynostosis Awareness


September 2021 Newsletter
Welcome Back To School AND
Craniosynostosis Awareness




Getting Back To School During The Pandemic




NJPNI wishes all our patients a safe and health academic school year in 2021! Here are some tips to get through the new year:

Get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Not enough sleep can make you irritable and cranky, and it can also make your stress and anxiety worse. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible, and make sure you’re getting enough rest so you can learn effectively at school every day.

Set aside time to do activities you enjoy. Even though school is starting again, try to make some time for your hobbies so you can unwind and relax. If you’re too busy during the week, make some time on the weekends. You can play a card game, do crafts, read books, or go outside and hang out in nature.

Ask your school administrators about what precautions they are taking. As schools make the decision to open back up during COVID-19, they may be implementing new procedures and policies to keep you or your child safe. If you haven’t received any news of changes in your schools, email or call the principal or administrator of your school about what they are doing differently. Some helpful questions to ask are:

What safety precautions is the school taking to keep students safe?
Will there be mental health services available to students this year if needed?
How will you enforce the safety measures in place during school?

*If your child is back in school and having ATTENTION ISSUES or HEADACHES. Please have them come see our pediatric neurologist, Dr. Jeffrey Kornitzer.*Make an Appointment Today




What Schools Can Do




1. Physical distancing (desks 3-6 feet apart)
2. Face masks
3. Hand hygiene
4. Cleaning and disinfecting
5. Healthy nutrition
6. Use outdoor space, when possible




Craniosynostosis Awareness




Sadly there is a lack of awareness about this condition, even among some medical professionals.

Craniosynostosis is a condition in which one of more of the joints or sutures between the bones of your baby’s skull closes or “calcifies.” If a baby has craniosynostosis, his or her brain cannot grow into its natural shape. Craniosynostosis can affect vision, development, and head shape.

Tune in to Dr. Mazzola’s YouTube Channel




Patient Testimonial




“Metopic craniosynostosis with trigonocephaly… I still can barely spell the words and try saying the whole thing 3 times fast.  These 3 complicated words have changed our lives forever, when we were sitting in Dr. Collins’s office one afternoon in April 2021 being told that about our 8 month old. I left that appointment heartbroken that our perfect rainbow baby will need major surgery at the young age of 9 months, but there was another feeling, one that thankfully slowly took over as the months went by.. a feeling of hope and relief that he is in the absolute best hands.

There was also validation and anger. Validation because after being dismissed by his previous pediatrician we were being taken seriously and there was a problem with this ridge he had on his forehead since about 4 months old. And anger that it took  months of pressuring and ultimately switching doctors to be referred to a specialist.

Justin had craniosynostosis surgery on May 6 and we are amazed at his progress. He rocked his helmet for 3 months and we have a hard time finding his scar under all his hair. He is growing and developing beautifully now that his brain has room to grow.

I still struggle with the constant fear and uncertainty of what the future holds for Justin, but then as parents, do we ever not struggled with that?

He is closely monitored by the amazing team of professionals and I feel confident he will continue to thrive thanks to all of them.

I pray and hope he will continue to be on the right track, and while his story is still being written, I am forever thankful to have Dr. Collins, Dr. Morin, nurse practitioner Laura and everyone at the NJ Pediatric Institute guide us through everything! ”

More Patient Stories




Have a Safe School Year!




Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like normal – at least for a while. But whatever form school takes, it will require everyone’s support to make sure that it is healthy, safe and equitable for students, teachers, staff and families!




Once Again, We Hope Everyone Had a Relaxing Summer. Good Luck With the School Year









Phone 973-326-9000          Website



Women in Medicine

Women in Medicine – Join this new series to promote women in medicine and assist in business development for their practices.

Part 2: Depression, Anxiety and Burnout for Female Physicians

This talk will feature our very own Dr. Catherine Mazzola

Weds Oct 13 6:00-7:30 PM

Register today at

AUGUST NEWSLETTER – Neurosurgery Awareness Month

Check out our AUGUST Newsletter below featuring “Neurosurgery Awareness Month”. Also includes a special Thank You to all the Craniofacial Gala supporters with photos from the event. Articles by Catherine Mazzola, MD, FAANS, Pediatric Neurosurgeon and John Collins, MD, FAANS, Pediatric Neurosurgeon.

Download Photos From The 10th Annual Gala!

Thank you for reading our Monthly Newsletter!

Click Here to Make an Appointment

Click here to contact us now with any questions – info@njpni.comCall Us at 973-326-9000




The 10th Annual NJ Craniofacial Gala is 1 Month Away!
Buy Tickets Today!

Donating to the event helps in supporting International Outreach!

Join us for a night filled with fun, great presentations, and your chance to win some great gift baskets, silent auction items or
50/50 raffle!

All donations help to support the NJ Craniofacial Center and Developing Faces, Inc
on their next mission trip!

JUNE NEWSLETTER Anniversary of Tragic Paramus Bus Crash & COVID Affecting Child Development

Check out our JUNE Newsletter below featuring the “Anniversary of Tragic Paramus Bus Crash” as well as “COVID Affecting Child Development”. Articles by Catherine Mazzola, MD, FAANS, Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Laura Natoli, RN, BS, MS, APN, RNFA, Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.




Anniversary of Tragic Paramus Bus Crash
COVID Affecting Child Development

Click Here to Meet Our Doctors

Our Team Recalling That Tragic Day:

Catherine Mazzola, MD, FAANS
Pediatric Neurosurgeon

I will never forget the Thursday of the Paramus Eastbrook School bus accident. Our team at NJPNI was just about to start our Thursday “lunch and learn”, when Dr. Louis Difazio called me. Lou is the Chief of the Trauma Team at Morristown and a great friend. He told me there was a bus accident and about 24 children were being transported to Morristown Emergency Room. While he was talking, I called my colleagues together, and we headed across the street. We were there within ten minutes, and the Trauma Bay was filled with pediatric patients, nurses, physicians, and surgeons. There were four children with serious head trauma that we cared for that day. We train for polytrauma events, but thankfully, we seldom must deal with multiple pediatric trauma patients at once.

Triage, or the rapid evaluation and management of emergency patients, is a skill acquired after years of training and experience. I remember evaluating the four head trauma patients and one of my colleagues questioning my direction. I remember feeling neither insult nor anger, but I repeated my “request” and stated that this was really not a request, but an “order” based on my experience. I told him that I would take full responsibility for all my decisions, regardless of the outcome. Days later, he asked me how I “knew” what to do in that situation. After years of training in Newark, Pittsburgh, and Hackensack, NJ, I have seen numerous head trauma patients and I knew what had to be done, expediently.

I made many decisions that day. I spoke to many parents. I will never forget sitting in the Pediatric ICU conference room and telling the mother of a child I had just operated on that her daughter had a 50% chance of making it through the night. There were tears in my eyes and she was sobbing. Today, with the efforts of so many great doctors and nurses and therapists, that child is alive. She will always have scars, both physical and emotional, that she and her family will live with forever. We were all changed that day.

I remember driving home that night and going to the Lions Club Carnival, where I was supposed to be volunteering. I recall looking at all the young kids, teens, and their families. I was thinking about how quickly life can change and how grateful we should be for everyday with our children.

Learn more about Dr. Mazzola...

Laura Natoli, RN, BS, MS, APN, RNFA
Advanced Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

On May 17th, 2018 I was working as a new Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for NJPNI. We were seeing office patients when Dr. Mazzola was notified of a school bus accident. We stopped what we were doing and quickly rushed across the street to Morristown Medical Center.

The main takeaway I have from being involved with treating the children in the Paramus bus accident is the importance of TEAMWORK. Children’s lives would not have been saved if everyone was not working together! Neurosurgery, Trauma, ED, PICU, and OR staff all played crucial roles that day.

I became a nurse practitioner so that I could have an impact on the lives of others but more importantly, children. Through this experience, I have been able to see these children recover so well since their accident. I am so proud of the challenges they have overcome!

Learn more about Laura…

NJ Craniofacial Center Show Their Support!

NJ Craniofacial Team is a group of compassionate, highly-trained, board-certified surgeons, dedicated to improving the lives of infants and children with craniofacial conditions caused by trauma, birth defects, and disease.

At the 2019 NJ Craniofacial Gala, the NJ Craniofacial Center team honored all of the children involved in the Paramus bus accident. It was a fun event filled with raffles, gift baskets, patient stories, and presentations from many doctors!

Click below to see highlights from the event!


The NJ Craniofacial Center team is hosting the 10th Annual
NJ Craniofacial Gala on Tuesday July 27th, starting at 6pm, at
The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park, NJ.

We hope to have another successful evening this year, honoring International Patients our team has treated for craniofacial disorders.


How Growing Up in a Pandemic is Affecting Kids

While Covid-19 is typically benign in children, the pandemic could have long-lasting impacts on society’s youngest members. With childcare programs closed and social distancing measures in place, many children are missing out on opportunities for development.
Children are lacking social interaction and important play time!
Lack of socialization have shown an increase in:
1. Speech delay
2. Depression
3. Obesity
4. Stranger anxiety
5. Difficulty sharing
6. Delay in social skills
7. Parental stress
As COVID restrictions ease up:
1. Realize that kids may be shy at first and have difficulty socializing
2. Encourage plenty of play time
3. Talk to your children about what to expect at school
4. To create secure attachedments, hire a babysitter so young kids are familiar with people other than their parents.
4. Try not to worry- kids are resilient!
5. Contact Early Intervention for evaluation of any speech delays

Socialization Tips During COVID

2 WEEKS until Dr. Kornitzer joins our team at NJPNI
Stay tuned for the July newsletter to learn all about him!

Meet our new Pediatric Neurologist

Click here to contact us now with any questions –

Call Us at 973-326-9000


WINS June 9th – Registration is OPEN

Ready to choose your own adventure in Neurosurgery?  Our experts, Doctors Sonia Eden, Ann Stroink, Barbara Lazio, Catherine Mazzola and Karin Muraszko share valuable perspectives and lessons on how to chart your own course in this exciting and challenging field.

Registration Link:

Full Brochure here:

WINS June 9th brochure