Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy writes about health and parenting for Boston Children's Hospital, Boston.com, and the Huffington Post.

Twitter: @drClaire


Posts by Claire McCarthy, MD

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.

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.

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.

Heavy metals in baby food? What parents should know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Worrisome levels of arsenic, lead, and other elements called heavy metals that can harm the developing brain are found in some commercial baby foods, according to a recent report. Here’s what parents should know and can do to protect young children.

New school guidelines around COVID-19: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

After nearly a year of the pandemic, parents want their children to go back to school, but no one wants students or teachers to get sick with COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines for how schools can accomplish in-person learning safely.

Need to revisit screen time?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Restrictions caused by the pandemic have led both adults and children to spend a lot of time on screens. It’s not great for adults, and it’s more of a concern for kids because too much screen time has effects on behavior, learning, and mood. So, what steps can parents take to change this?

Newborn jaundice: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most newborn babies turn a little yellow. This is known as jaundice, and it’s very common in the newborn period. But in some very rare cases it can be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s what parents need to know about it.

New dietary guidelines: Any changes for infants, children, and teens?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The US Department of Agriculture has published its periodically updated dietary guidelines, and for the first time advice for babies and toddlers is included. It’s never too early to start instilling good eating habits in kids, and awareness of what children should and shouldn’t eat is one way parents can get their kids on the right track.

Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

During adolescence, the brain grows and changes in crucial ways and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. When teens and young adults drink alcohol, it can interfere with brain development processes and cause long-lasting effects.

Magnets, sound, and batteries: Choosing safe toys

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When choosing gifts for the children in your life this year, there are toy you should consider — creativity, imagination, and movement should be encouraged — and toys you should try to avoid due to safety concerns or for other reasons.