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

Do we need to take tackling out of youth football?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Ongoing research on the effects of repeated head injury on the brains of football players raises the question of whether preteen football players should be prohibited from tackling.

Why we all really need Screen-Free Week this year

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents can use Screen-Free Week as an opportunity to evaluate their children’s relationship to their electronic devices as well as their own, and try to be more thoughtful about using them.

3 ways to help get more children immunized

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In order to increase the number of children who receive all the recommended vaccinations, greater effort must be made in providing health care access to all children, and doctors must understand the wide range of reasons for parents’ resistance to vaccines.

A tired child? What you should know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Sometimes children are tired simply because they haven’t gotten enough sleep, but if a child complains about being tired for a week or more, then it’s possible there is another cause.

Giving antacids and antibiotics to babies can lead to allergies

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The overuse of antibiotics and antacids can lead to problems regardless of age, but if given to babies it can contribute to allergies and asthma as children grow.

Why we shouldn’t demonize formula feeding

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Doctors commonly encourage new mothers to choose breastfeeding over formula, but a new study shows the value of formula feeding as an add on to breastfeeding, and serves as a reminder that breastfeeding exclusively is not an option for some mothers.

Good news: Fewer teens are being bullied

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Data from the US Department of Education show a decline in teens being bullied over the past decade, in part because schools have worked hard to define the behavior and make it clear it will not be tolerated.

Does your child need a tonsillectomy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While tonsillectomies are still common, the number performed has decreased significantly over the past half-century due to the likelihood of complications after surgery. But there are situations when a tonsillectomy is definitely necessary, so it’s important to consider the risks and benefits before making the decision.

In children and teens, depression doesn’t always look like sadness

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Aside from the more common behavioral indicators that a person may be depressed, there are several other changes in behavior that can be signs of depression in children and teens. If you notice any of these, consult a doctor or a mental health professional for advice.

Scary news about childhood obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With recent data showing that childhood obesity is getting worse, here is some advice for parents on what can be done to help children avoid obesity or get to a healthier weight.