Archive for March, 2021

Summer camp: What parents need to know this year

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Many parents and children hope that this summer will allow a return to typical activities. For families who are considering summer camp for their children, adjustments and adaptations will need to be made because of COVID-19, and parents should be prepared to ask questions about planning and risk management.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: Mitochondria do a lot for you — what can you do for them?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Mitochondria are the power stations in our cells that convert nutrients into energy, and research suggests that they play a key role in aging and immune function. Ads for a line of supplements claim that the product renews or replenishes mitochondria –– but is there any scientific proof of this?

Simple, low-cost, low-tech brain training

Mentally stimulating activities help the brain create new connections that may prevent cognitive decline as people get older, and there are plenty of simple, low-tech ways to sharpen your thinking that are budget-friendly.

School reopening? What parents need to know and can do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While some children have been attending school in-person throughout the pandemic, most have been learning remotely, or in a hybrid model. As more schools reopen for in-person learning, parents can ask key questions about their school district’s plans and help their children prepare to go back.

Fully vaccinated against COVID-19? So, what can you safely do?

What can you safely do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? Many people are eager to resume normal activities and see their family and friends. Some situations are lower-risk than others, and whether or not the other people you will be interacting with have also been vaccinated matters, too.

Omega-3 fatty acids and the heart: New evidence, more questions

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil have been recommended by the American Heart Association for the past 20 years to reduce cardiovascular events in people who already have cardiovascular disease. But the results of studies of omega-3 supplements have been mixed, leaving both doctors and patients still wondering what to do.

Beyond CBD: Here come the other cannabinoids, but where’s the evidence?

Given the interest in CBD and the exploding popularity (and big business) of products that contain it, it was only a matter of time before new cannabinoids were discovered and commercialized. But many of these substances have been studied only in animals so far, meaning it is too soon to say if any of their potential benefits will apply to humans.

Zero weight loss from zero calorie drinks? Say it ain’t so

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Trying to cut back on calories by drinking diet soda or flavored sparkling water may not help with weight loss, and some research suggest it may actually lead to weight gain. But why, and what are the alternatives?

Returning to sports and physical activity after COVID-19: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most children and teens who have COVID-19 recover completely, but rarely there can be damage to a child’s heart muscle, and the stress of exercise on a damaged heart could lead to a serious condition. Here’s what parents need to know about recent guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics for children returning to physical activity after COVID-19.

Numb from the news? Understanding why and what to do may help

Thomas Hübl

Guest contributor

The daily onslaught of news during the past year has left many people in a steady state of fatigue, resignation, and grief. The symptoms of collective trauma are widespread and familiar, but one merits special attention: numbness, which is one possible response to an overwhelming situation.