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 faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy writes about health and parenting for Boston Children's Hospital, Boston.com, and the Huffington Post.


Posts by Claire McCarthy, MD

How racism harms children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement regarding the “socially transmitted disease” of racism. Its negative effects harm children in multiple areas, including education, health care, employment, and the justice system.

Driving for teens with ADHD: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents always worry when a teen starts driving –– even more so if a teen has ADHD. Research shows teens with ADHD have a higher risk for auto accidents. Here’s how to reduce that risk.

How early can you — and should you — diagnose autism?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If a parent thinks a child might have autism, it helps to get a definitive diagnosis as early as possible, since the earlier treatment can begin, the better it is for the child. But at what age can a reliable diagnosis be made?

Teens and confidentiality

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Offering teens privacy and confidentiality when meeting with a health care provider may allow them to discuss uncomfortable topics –– such as risky behavior, physical concerns, feeling anxious or depressed –– a step toward getting needed information and help.

Keeping children safe around cosmetics

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Between 2002 and 2016, over 4,000 children under 5 were treated each year in US emergency departments for cosmetics-related injuries. Take precautions with your cosmetic products to keep children safe.

Why do parents worry about vaccines?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The ongoing measles epidemic spotlights the importance of vaccinations –– and the concerns some parents have about vaccine safety. If you have such concerns, talk to your child’s doctor and learn more about vaccine safety.

HPV vaccine: A vaccine that works, and one all children should get

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV) causes about 40,000 cases of cancer every year. A long-term study of the HPV vaccine finds it offers protection against many strains of the virus, yet many teens haven’t had this safe, effective vaccine.

Children and gun safety: What to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Regardless of individual feelings about guns and gun ownership, everyone wants their children to be safe. Simple safety steps can prevent accidents involving children and guns.

Infant car seats are for cars only (how not to use an infant car seat)

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you use an infant car seat that detaches from the base, it may be convenient to leave your baby in it even when not in a car, but the American Academy of Pediatrics warns people that these seats should be used only for travel in a vehicle.

The 6 don’ts of caring for your child’s teeth

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Tooth decay is linked to a higher risk of many health problems in adulthood, but often families don’t put enough emphasis on proper and consistent dental care. Avoiding these mistakes can help your children get the right start on their oral health.