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

Naps: Make the most of them and know when to stop them

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As babies become toddlers, when they need to nap and for how long evolves, so parents and caregivers need to know how to handle the changes, as well as how to know when naps are no longer needed.

Why pregnant and nursing mothers shouldn’t smoke marijuana

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The number of pregnant women who use marijuana has risen in recent years, but the effects of THC on a child’s developing brain make it much safer for women to avoid marijuana use entirely during pregnancy and while nursing.

Meningitis vaccines: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most people who get viral meningitis get better without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is much more serious, and can be fatal. Meningitis vaccines can help protect against the most common bacteria responsible; two are given in infancy, and the third should be given before adolescence.

Can cell phone use cause ADHD?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Researchers found that teenagers who engaged in high-frequency use of various digital media activities were more likely to have symptoms of ADHD. While this is not conclusive, it raises questions about whether too much smartphone use can affect teens’ development and behavior.

Common food additives and chemicals harmful to children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Food additives and chemicals are common in all kinds of products, including packaging and personal care items, and pose greater risk to children than to adults. Simple steps to minimize exposure are sensible and do not require radical lifestyle changes.

Warning signs of a concussion

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A concussion can occur without a strong impact. Sometimes it’s obvious a child has suffered a concussion, but in other instances there can be more subtle warning signs of a concussions that linger for weeks or months.

5 habits for moms that help prevent childhood obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It might be surprising to learn that parents can help fight childhood obesity by taking good care of themselves. A new study found that when mothers follow five healthy lifestyle habits, their kids are much less likely to become obese.

How to treat a child’s sunburn

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

No matter how diligent you are about protecting your children from some exposure, sunburns do happen. When it does, follow these instructions to ease the discomfort and treat your child’s sunburn.

Teens are getting less sleep, which raises heart disease risk

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Teens are getting less sleep than ever. This leaves them prone to conditions like high blood pressure and insulin resistance which increased the risk for heart disease and diabetes later on.

Separating children and parents at the border causes lifelong damage

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Separating children and parents at the border can permanently affect a child’s brain development and even risk his or her future health thanks to the “toxic” stress caused by the experience and the loss of parental nurturing and support.