Stories about: Claire McCarthy MD

Ten reasons to call the pediatrician about a cough

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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:

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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.

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Don’t Panic About Enterovirus D68

McCarthyClaire_201108_047With all the news about Enterovirus D68 sending hundreds of children to hospitals, it’s easy to panic when you hear about a case in your neighborhood—or, even worse, if your child starts coughing.

But please, don’t panic.

This virus has certainly caused trouble. Enteroviruses are incredibly common, causing 10-15 million illnesses a year—but usually, those illnesses are minor. This one, for reasons we don’t fully understand, is stronger, and is worse for kids than for adults.

I can hear you saying: so why shouldn’t I panic? Here’s why.

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In defense of mom messiness

The other day, I finally stole some time and vacuumed out my minivan. I was starting to live in fear of someone asking me for a ride.

Not only was there garbage, random hats, a broken umbrella and tracked-in leaves on the floor, there were bits of pretzels and popcorn and some unidentifiable foods stuck between the seat cushions of the middle and back seats. My kids weren’t complaining (which was good, since they were mostly responsible for the mess), but it was crossing the line from messy to unsanitary.

We just aren’t neat people.

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