Children’s Health

8 things to watch for when your child has a headache

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

Childhood headaches are typically not cause for undue concern, but there are circumstances when a headache should prompt a call to your child’s doctor.

Don’t let the screens take over: 8 tips for families

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

It’s a good idea for parents to monitor, and limit, their children’s overall daily screen time. Here’s some advice for parents on how to manage this challenge effectively, with each child’s healthy and balanced development in mind.

5 things to tell your child about 13 Reasons Why

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

A new series on Netflix about a teen’s suicide has raised concerns that it may encourage similar real-world behavior, but the show presents an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about mental health challenges and how to cope with their problems.

Why vaccines are important for our country’s financial health, too

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

Vaccinating babies and toddlers prevents many illnesses, but it also helps the avoid high costs associated with treating those illnesses, helps reduce sick time taken by parents, and contributes to greater immunity in a population.

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.