Adolescent health

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.

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.

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise: Should you worry?

The number of sexually transmitted infections reported in the US reached an all-time high last year. Having an STI can raise a person’s risk of getting HIV or having infertility or pregnancy complications, but STIs are preventable and treatable. Knowing the facts about STIs and testing is the first step.

How to talk to children about the serious illness of a loved one

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Talking to a child about a loved one’s illness is not easy, but it’s important to be truthful and not shield a child from the facts. While the specifics will depend on the child, thinking through what to say and how to say it will help parents deal with the situation.

Think your child has ADHD? What your pediatrician can — and should — do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 7% to 8% of children in the US. If you think your child may have ADHD, see your pediatrician, who can take the correct steps toward diagnosis and, if needed, proper treatment and a follow-up plan.

HPV and cancer: The underappreciated connection

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV), a common viral infection, has been linked to cancer of the genitals, anus, mouth, and throat, as well as cervical cancer. Yet a survey of US adults found that many people are not aware of this connection.

Bisexuality and health: The cost of invisibility

People who identify as bisexual represent a substantial part of the population, yet research focusing on their health lags. Which health problems are more likely to occur in people who are bisexual and what might help to counter them?

Recurrent headaches in children: What to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most children have an occasional headache, but some children get recurrent headaches. These often run in families and may be migraine or tension headaches or might stem from other causes.

Too old for the pediatrician? Time to switch doctors

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Wondering how a teen or young adult can smoothly smoothly transition from seeing a pediatrician to a medical practice that treats adults? Making plans and taking these steps will help.

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.