Prevention

Guns are killing our children. It’s time we did something

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The Parkland shooting is a painful reminder that too many lives, including those of children, are taken by gun violence and firearm injuries. We all – parents, policymakers, gun owners — can take action to help prevent these tragedies. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some specific suggestions.

Is red wine actually good for your heart?

The belief that drinking red wine offers some degree of protection from heart disease has persisted for decades, but any evidence in support of this is just observational, without any scientific proof to back it up.

Expert advice on how to quit smoking

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

People who are serious about quitting smoking want to know the most effective methods for doing so. For most people this is likely to be a combination of behavior strategies and medications, including nicotine replacement products that can be taken with other smoking cessation drugs.

Vaccinations: More than just kid stuff

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Some people think that once they reach adulthood they no longer need any vaccinations, but this is not true. Besides an annual flu shot (which everyone should get), adults should get several other vaccinations, and depending on current guidelines, may need an occasional booster shot or a new vaccine.

4 things all parents should do to help prevent sexual abuse

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents can help protect their children from sexual abuse by teaching children about their bodies and what is and is not appropriate behavior by adults.

Frozen (the cold will bother you…)

Wynne Armand, MD

Contributing Editor

When it’s really cold and windy, frostbite can set in more quickly than you might think. But it’s also easy to take the right precautions to protect yourself and your family during outdoor activities this winter.

Answer these 5 questions to help make your New Year’s resolutions stick

If you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you need to approach them as a process of behavior change, make your goals realistic, and have a specific plan for how you will reach them.

Avoiding holiday excess (and what to do if you overdo it)

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

During the holiday season it’s easy to indulge in too much rich food or alcohol (or both), but some strategic planning ahead of your temptation-filled events can keep you feeling good. And if you’ve already had too much, there are things you can do to feel better quickly.

Is there a link between alcohol and skin cancer?

An analysis of studies found an association between alcohol consumption and increased risk of certain skin cancers, but there is no solid evidence of a direct connection.

Fish oil capsules: Net benefits for the heart are limited

At one time there was hope that omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil capsules might prevent heart disease, but 15 years of research has found this belief to be untrue, and taking fish oil could even be harmful to some people.