Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy writes about health and parenting for Boston Children's Hospital, Boston.com, and the Huffington Post.

Twitter: @drClaire


Posts by Claire McCarthy, MD

Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

During adolescence, the brain grows and changes in crucial ways and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. When teens and young adults drink alcohol, it can interfere with brain development processes and cause long-lasting effects.

Magnets, sound, and batteries: Choosing safe toys

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When choosing gifts for the children in your life this year, there are toy you should consider — creativity, imagination, and movement should be encouraged — and toys you should try to avoid due to safety concerns or for other reasons.

Moody quaranteen? What parents should watch for and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Teens crave connection with peers and independence from family, and being isolated during the pandemic has been particularly hard for some — though not all — of them. Here are warning signs that signal more than everyday moodiness and ways to actively bolster teen mental health.

College student coming home? What to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Due to the pandemic, many college students are coming home at Thanksgiving for an extended winter break. Having anyone reenter your household as COVID-19 cases rise across the US is challenging, and requires thought and planning to keep everyone safe — and sane. Here’s what families need to think about.

Defusing the “Benadryl challenge”: Discussing danger with teens

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Viral challenges encourage risky behavior in teens with potentially serious consequences. The reasons teens do things like this are rooted in the development process of the adolescent brain, and adults need to understand why such challenges appeal to teens in order to talk to them about why they aren’t safe.

Keeping your family safe this Thanksgiving

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

This year, the safest choice for celebrating Thanksgiving is to do so at home only with those you live with, yet some people are still going to want to gather. If you are considering celebrating with others, there are some things you can do to help limit COVID-related risks.

Beyond trick-or-treating: Safe Halloween fun during the COVID-19 pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Celebrating Halloween by going trick-or-treating or attending a party could be very risky this year. Here are tips to help you and your family stay safe while having fun.

Cultivating joy as a family

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but particularly for families. Everyone is feeling so much uncertainty and stress, but one thing we can do is look for ways to create small moments of joy every day. Games, activities, creativity, being outdoors — there are simple, fun ways to be together and make memories.

As family well-being declines, so does children’s behavior

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of people who have not been sick, and parents are being hit particularly hard. A survey of US parents found that these worsening circumstances also affect children’s behavior.

Sick child this school year? Planning for the inevitable during a pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Kids get sick: it happens, and most of the time it’s not cause for concern or alarm. But this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic every symptom will be scrutinized. Parents need to be aware of what to do when their child shows signs of illness this year.