Children’s 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.

What to do if your child is constipated

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s not unusual for a child to be constipated once in a while, and when it happens there are several things parents can do to relieve the situation.

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.

4 things everyone needs to know about measles

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

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.