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

Why follow a vaccine schedule?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

New research suggests just 63% of families follow the recommended childhood vaccination schedule. Altering the schedule by skipping vaccines or spreading them out may putting children at risk, as well as others in the community.

What one study from China tells us about COVID-19 and children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study of children in China infected with COVID-19 found that most had illness that was asymptomatic, mild, or moderate. Younger children are at higher risk of running into trouble and it’s important to take extra precautions with them.

Peanut allergy: A new medicine for children may offer protection

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In children with food allergies, peanut allergy is the one most likely to cause a severe reaction. A newly approved medication made from peanut flour treats peanut allergy by giving a gradually increasing dosage over several months.

When is a heavy period too heavy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Girls and their parents often wonder when bleeding with a period is too heavy. It’s normal for periods to be irregular and occasionally heavy in the first few years after menstruation starts, but some signs of heavy bleeding merit a call to your child’s doctor.

Coronavirus: What parents should know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s natural for parents to be worried about whether their children could be at risk from the novel coronavirus. While there is much that is still not known, common sense and simple public health precautions will help protect everyone.

Think hard before shaming children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents may offer what they think is constructive criticism to a child, but there is a fine line between criticism and shaming, and shaming can have lasting effects on a child’s self-esteem.

What parents need to know about a vegan diet

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If your family follows a vegan diet––or your child expresses the desire to do so on their own––it’s important for parents to be aware of the nutritional challenges of vegan eating, and how to meet them.

How to help your baby through shots and blood tests

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Vaccinations and blood draws for testing are painful moments for babies. But there are things parents can do to help their baby get through these procedures more easily.

A low-tech school vacation: Keeping kids busy and happy without screens

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Wondering how to occupy your children during school break? Skip the screens and try these low-tech physical and creative pursuits.

Weight loss surgery for children and teens struggling with obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If a child is obese by age 12, it’s nearly a certainty that child will be obese as an adult, with all the complications that brings. While some may be uncomfortable with a child or adolescent having bariatric surgery to facilitate weight loss, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it in certain situations.