Children’s Health

A strengths-based approach to autism

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

Because children on the autism spectrum experience the world differently, some developmental experts advocate an approach to therapy that is based in an individual child’s interests, instead of trying to force a child to conform to established learning patterns.

The problem with tanning (and the myth of the base tan)

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The earlier one starts tanning, the longer the lifetime skin damage and the higher the skin cancer risk. As the number of people with skin cancer increases, it has become especially important to convey to teenagers the message that tanning is an unhealthy choice, whether it’s outdoors or in a tanning bed.

6 ways to help keep your baby at a healthy weight

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

While chubby babies are certainly cute, parents should try to follow healthy eating and behavior habits to help their babies maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood and into adulthood. Start early to develop a healthy relationship with food and an active lifestyle.

The flu shot saves children’s lives

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Even though this year’s flu season is just about over, parents should be thinking about protecting their children next winter. Despite short-term reactions in some people, the flu shot is safe for nearly everyone.

Teen drug use is down: Better parenting, or more smartphones?

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Data from an annual survey show that use of illicit drugs among teenagers is in decline, and has been for some time. It’s possible that this can be partially attributed to the popularity of smartphones.

Is ADHD overdiagnosed and overtreated?

Updates in Slow Medicine
Updates in Slow Medicine, Contributing Editors

As the percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD has increased in recent years, a new book delves into the connections between pharmaceutical companies and medical experts, and how these relate to rates of diagnosis.

American Academy of Pediatrics urges care and compassion for immigrant children

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

In response to the government’s changes in immigration policy, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released a statement expressing concerns about the treatment of immigrant children.

Parents: Call the doctor right away for these 4 symptoms

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Most parents know when their child needs to be seen by a medical professional, but certain symptoms should be considered warning signs that require immediate attention. If your child perks up, or stops crying, or otherwise looks completely fine once you see a doctor, don’t feel silly. These symptoms terrify doctors, so it’s always better to be safe than very, very sorry.

Parents: As more states legalize marijuana, here’s what you need to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

As marijuana becomes legal or is decriminalized in more states, teens are less likely to view its use as risky, so parents need to talk with their children about safety, especially if they use it themselves.

Parents: How to manage injuries at home—and when you need to go to the doctor

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Children are usually active and, as they explore the world, don’t have the common sense and good judgment of most adults. So, it is very common for kids to experience minor injuries throughout childhood. Parents need to know when and how to handle injuries at home and when medical advice or attention is needed.