Author: Claire McCarthy

Why parents really need to talk to their children about the news

Black and white image of family watching news

These are strange, anxiety-provoking times. That’s true no matter where one lives or where one sits on the political spectrum; for all of us, it’s upsetting and confusing.

If it feels that way for adults, just imagine what it’s like for children who catch snatches of information and conversations they don’t really understand. That’s why it’s really, really important that parents talk to their children about what is going on in our country and our world. It’s important for two reasons:

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Ten reasons to call the pediatrician about a cough

coughs-children

Every child gets a cough from time to time; there’s really no escaping them. It’s completely normal for children to catch several colds a year, especially if they are in daycare or go to school, and common allergies can cause a cough too.

Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. Most of the time, some rest, plenty of fluids, honey (for children over a year old) and some patience and TLC do the trick. But sometimes, it’s important to call the doctor. Here’s when you should worry about a cough:

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

The only kids who need vitamins (spoiler alert: there aren’t many)

Gummy vitamins for children.

As a pediatrician, I get a lot of questions whether their children should take a multivitamin or other vitamin supplement. Parents think they will make their children healthier — and some think they will make them eat more (they don’t, sorry). Since our bodies need different vitamins to be healthy, they ask,

Should I give my child a multivitamin?

Not necessarily, actually. It turns out that most children don’t need them, making them an expensive waste of money. They can also be dangerous if children take too many, something that is very possible given that most chewable multivitamins for children taste like candy. And giving a vitamin can give families a false sense of security that their child is getting everything they need — when they aren’t.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Four things you might not know about fever

4 things to know about fever in children.

Of everything we pediatricians get called about, I think that fever is the most common. Which isn’t surprising, given that fever can be a sign of illness. But despite the fact that it is so common, fever is often misunderstood — and often frightens people more than it should. Here are four things all parents should know about fever.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment