Parenting

6 reasons children need to play outside

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

From higher-level brain development to socialization, to vitamin D production and fitness, there are many reasons children need to spend time outside.

4 things to know about ticks and Lyme

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s smart to be concerned about Lyme disease, but awareness of symptoms and taking some simple precautions when you or your family members spend time outdoors can help you avoid being bitten by ticks.

Do we need to take tackling out of youth football?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Ongoing research on the effects of repeated head injury on the brains of football players raises the question of whether preteen football players should be prohibited from tackling.

Why we all really need Screen-Free Week this year

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents can use Screen-Free Week as an opportunity to evaluate their children’s relationship to their electronic devices as well as their own, and try to be more thoughtful about using them.

3 ways to help get more children immunized

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

In order to increase the number of children who receive all the recommended vaccinations, greater effort must be made in providing health care access to all children, and doctors must understand the wide range of reasons for parents’ resistance to vaccines.

A tired child? What you should know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Sometimes children are tired simply because they haven’t gotten enough sleep, but if a child complains about being tired for a week or more, then it’s possible there is another cause.

Giving antacids and antibiotics to babies can lead to allergies

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The overuse of antibiotics and antacids can lead to problems regardless of age, but if given to babies it can contribute to allergies and asthma as children grow.

Good news: Fewer teens are being bullied

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Data from the US Department of Education show a decline in teens being bullied over the past decade, in part because schools have worked hard to define the behavior and make it clear it will not be tolerated.

What happened when I stopped saying “Be careful”

Steve Calechman

Contributor

It’s common to repeat ourselves trying to get children to follow our instructions, but how much of what we are trying to convey does a child truly comprehend? Paying attention to context and using words that make clear what we want are likely to get better results.

Does your child need a tonsillectomy?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While tonsillectomies are still common, the number performed has decreased significantly over the past half-century due to the likelihood of complications after surgery. But there are situations when a tonsillectomy is definitely necessary, so it’s important to consider the risks and benefits before making the decision.