Adolescent health

Keeping teens home and away from friends during COVID-19

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It may be difficult to impress on your teenage children the importance of staying home and not socializing with their friends during this pandemic, but as parents, you are going to have to convince them. Here are some helpful tools and ideas.

Not a staycation: Isolating at home affects our mental health (and what to do)

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As the COVID-19 crisis keeps us at home for longer and longer, it’s important to acknowledge that this situation is having negative effects on everyone’s mental health. Here’s how parents and families can take care of themselves in ways that go beyond normal self-care strategies.

Is it safe to see the pediatrician for vaccines and medical visits?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Concerned about pediatric visits right now? Is it okay to wait on a child’s vaccinations or better to stick to the schedule? What about appointments for other routine matters? What is serious enough to justify the risk?

Why follow a vaccine schedule?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

New research suggests just 63% of families follow the recommended childhood vaccination schedule. Altering the schedule by skipping vaccines or spreading them out may putting children at risk, as well as others in the community.

Opportunities for growth: Transitions for youth with autism spectrum disorder

Robyn Thom, MD

Contributor

For young people with autism spectrum disorder, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is marked by changes in many areas of their lives. Healthcare providers and caregivers can make this transition smoother and help their patients meet these challenges.

What one study from China tells us about COVID-19 and children

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study of children in China infected with COVID-19 found that most had illness that was asymptomatic, mild, or moderate. Younger children are at higher risk of running into trouble and it’s important to take extra precautions with them.

How to talk to teens about the new coronavirus

As with younger children, teenagers are also likely to have questions –– and possibly misinformation –– about the new coronavirus. While the questions may be similar, your answers may be more complex.

Puffing away sadness

The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the nervous system, resulting in a mood boost. But does this mean that smokers will reach for a cigarette when they are feeling sad? Researchers found that sad feelings may cause some people to smoke.

When is a heavy period too heavy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Girls and their parents often wonder when bleeding with a period is too heavy. It’s normal for periods to be irregular and occasionally heavy in the first few years after menstruation starts, but some signs of heavy bleeding merit a call to your child’s doctor.

Coronavirus: What parents should know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s natural for parents to be worried about whether their children could be at risk from the novel coronavirus. While there is much that is still not known, common sense and simple public health precautions will help protect everyone.