Children’s Health

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.

Infant car seats are for cars only (how not to use an infant car seat)

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you use an infant car seat that detaches from the base, it may be convenient to leave your baby in it even when not in a car, but the American Academy of Pediatrics warns people that these seats should be used only for travel in a vehicle.

The 6 don’ts of caring for your child’s teeth

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Tooth decay is linked to a higher risk of many health problems in adulthood, but often families don’t put enough emphasis on proper and consistent dental care. Avoiding these mistakes can help your children get the right start on their oral health.

When making summer plans for children, leave some time unplanned

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents want their kids to have fun on summer vacation, but also for their time to be productive in some way. The best way to facilitate this is to allow for unscheduled time to foster self-directed creative thinking.

Measles: The forgotten killer

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

Measles has serious, even fatal complications. A worrisome multistate outbreak underscores why preventing measles is so important. Here’s how to protect yourself, your circle, and your community –– and why you should.

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.

Young children are swallowing objects twice as often as before

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Researchers found that the incidence of children swallowing nonfood items had increased dramatically between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s. Practicing good safety habits and taking certain other precautions is the best way to prevent such incidents.

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.

How to prevent poisonings in children — and what to do if they happen

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Safety precautions can prevent a child from accidentally ingesting or being exposed to poisonous or harmful items in your home, but knowing what to do if something happens can save a life.

Something else to avoid in pregnancy: Phthalates

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Chemicals called phthalates are in all kinds of products we use every day, making them nearly inescapable. But research has found that children whose mothers were exposed to phthalates during pregnancy were more likely to have problems with motor skills or language development, so pregnant women should try to avoid them.