Archive for February, 2018

How to welcome back a colleague who is in recovery

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

If a colleague has been absent from work for treatment of a substance use disorder, that person’s return to work may be awkward or uncomfortable, and coworkers may feel similarly. Empathy, understanding, and a willingness to listen will help returning workers feel welcomed back.

February and the heart: More than Valentine’s Day

February is Heart Month, which is a great time to make a commitment to getting heart healthy. Getting to, and staying at, a healthy weight is important for heart health. These three simple steps can help you eat more healthfully, shed some pounds, and enjoy your food mindfully.

This Valentine’s Day, 14 ways parents can show love for their children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When children feel loved, it builds confidence and resilience. This Valentine’s day, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 14 ways to show your kids you love them, including the simple acts like family game night or making a meal together.

Calcium, vitamin D, and fractures (oh my!)

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

People over 50 who want to keep their bones healthy may be tempted to take calcium and/or vitamin D supplements, but recent research found that these are not likely to be effective; for most people, getting these nutrients from food is a better strategy.

A doctor answers 5 questions about dry skin

The winter months are hard on skin, with cold, dry air depriving it of needed moisture. A Harvard dermatologist offers advice and tips for taking care of your skin and protecting it from the cold.

Expert advice on how to quit smoking

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

People who are serious about quitting smoking want to know the most effective methods for doing so. For most people this is likely to be a combination of behavior strategies and medications, including nicotine replacement products that can be taken with other smoking cessation drugs.

Vaccinations: More than just kid stuff

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some people think that once they reach adulthood they no longer need any vaccinations, but this is not true. Besides an annual flu shot (which everyone should get), adults should get several other vaccinations, and depending on current guidelines, may need an occasional booster shot or a new vaccine.

4 things all parents should do to help prevent sexual abuse

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents can help protect their children from sexual abuse by teaching children about their bodies and what is and is not appropriate behavior by adults.

“Me time” sounds good, but when exactly?

Steve Calechman


All parents know how difficult it is to find time for themselves, and probably feel guilty about it when they do, but it’s important to take a break from your responsibilities, even if it’s for only a few minutes a day.

This year’s flu season: Public health catastrophe or par for the course?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

This winter flu activity has been higher than usual across the United States. If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, it’s not too late; some protection is better than none, plus there are other steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you.