Claire McCarthy, MD
Posts by Claire McCarthy, MD
The number of measles cases in the US in 2018 more than tripled over those in 2017, and early numbers for this year suggest a continued surge. It’s important for everyone, but especially parents, to know about the virus, its potential complications, and the facts about the vaccine.
We are in the midst of an active flu season, so if you think your child may have the flu, following this advice will help you and your family get through it a little more easily.
A European study found that children became less active starting as early as 6, and activity declined sharply after age 8. More scheduled lives and more time spent using phones and devices are key reasons for this decline, but there are ways parents can encourage activity.
A study found that kindergarteners born in August are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and treated for it, than children born in September—but only if the school has a September 1 cutoff for enrollment. This raises the concern that teachers and doctors are misjudging normal behavior for a child’s age as ADHD.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the use of aversive discipline techniques, such as spanking or repeatedly yelling at a child, as they can lead to problems later in the child’s life. A more positive and proactive approach to discipline that sets clear limits and has consistent, predictable consequences can work.
As you are shopping for the children on your gift list this year, it may be tempting to choose the latest shiny gadget, but consider choosing toys for them that encourage learning and development, creativity, imagination, language skills, and physical activity.
Antibiotics are crucial tools in fighting illnesses, but over-reliance on them can have serious consequences. A new study found that babies who were given antibiotics in their first two years were significantly more likely to become obese.
Parents of newborns may be disappointed to learn the results of a Canadian study: even at one year, nearly half of the babies in the study did not sleep a full eight hours. However, the babies did not experience any adverse developmental effects, and parents should remember that children will eventually sleep through the night.
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is an illness with symptoms that are somewhat similar to polio — weakness and loss of muscle tone in the arms and legs — but with an unknown cause. AFM is more common in children and emerges suddenly, but there is no known treatment or cure.
As Halloween approaches, safety concerns should be on all parents’ minds. These tips and suggestions will help your kids and your trick-or-treating visitors have a safe and fun Halloween.