Adolescent health

Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Reports of severe lung illness experienced by hundreds of people who were using e-cigarettes again raise questions about the safety of vaping. While evidence suggests vaping can help some people stop smoking, potential health risks likely outweigh any benefit.

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.

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.

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.

Showering daily — is it necessary?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While many people shower or bathe daily, it’s not necessary and may not be wise for your skin. Concerns about water use –– and what’s in our water –– also are worth considering.

Anxiety in college: What we know and how to cope

College can be exhilarating, but anxiety during the college years is very common. Whether you’re a student or a parent, there are ways to cope with anxiety –– including steps you can take this summer.

Public policies to stop kids from drinking sugary drinks

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Concern about the amount of sugar in kids’ diets has led the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association to encourage the consideration of steps to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks among children and teens.

5 ways we can help our children succeed

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The recent college admission scandal has raised the issue of parents helping their children succeed. Regardless of where (or whether) someone goes to college, parents and other caregivers can help children learn the traits and skills that will help them learn how to find their way in the world.

5 reasons we need to help kids live “heads up” instead of “heads down”

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The presence and influence of smartphones in our lives has benefits, but it also creates hazards. For children and teens, too much attention to phones is not just a safety risk, but also deprives them of opportunity to gain life experience and understanding of the world.

Parents don’t always realize that their teen is suicidal

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The life of a teenager can be filled with drama, real or imagined. But while parents may think their teen overreacts too much, parents themselves might under-react to indications that a teen could be contemplating suicide.