Parenting

Asking saves lives: A simple question can keep children safe from gun injury

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

Although talking about guns is difficult and can be awkward, putting children’s safety first means asking if there are loaded guns in any place your child plays.

Resilience: A skill your child really needs to learn (and what you can do to help)

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

It’s crucial for children to learn resilience in order to navigate the world and deal with setbacks. Parents can help their children learn resilience by spending time with them regularly, encouraging their independence, and allowing them to take risks.

Room sharing with your baby may help prevent SIDS—but it means everyone gets less sleep

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

Having a baby sleep in the same room as its parents can help with feeding and safety, but will probably result in less sleep for everyone. Parents have to decide when it makes sense to move a baby to its own room.

New recommendation: No fruit juice for children under a year

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

Giving fruit juice to babies under a year old can contribute to obesity and cavities. Eating the fruit rather than just drinking the juice is better for overall health. The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its recommendation for giving juice to babies, and now says parents should wait until a child reaches a year.

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.

Have kids, live longer?

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

A study of Swedish people found an association between having children and living longer. That does not mean there is a direct, causal connection, but it’s still worth considering how these circumstances may in fact be related.

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.