Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July

Fourth of July cover art American Weekly - J.C. Leyendecker 1948

Fourth of July cover art American Weekly – J.C. Leyendecker 1948

Congress officially declared the 4th of July a National holiday in 1870.

Before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety.

Sun Safety for Kids

Heat Safety

Food Safety This Summer

Summer Pet Safety Tips

Lyme disease

Harrison Begay (1914-2012) Haskay Yahne Yah - The Wandering Boy Navajo artist Arizona-New Mexico

Harrison Begay (1914-2012)
Navajo artist Arizona-New Mexico

Lyme Disease 

There’s no surefire way to avoid getting Lyme disease. But you can minimize your risk. Be aware of ticks when you are in high-risk areas. If you work outdoors or spend time gardening, fishing, hunting, or camping, take precautions:

  • Wear enclosed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs.
  • Use an insect repellant containing 10% to 30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
  • Keep long hair pulled back or wear a cap for protection.
  • Don’t sit on the ground outside.
  • Check yourself for ticks regularly — both indoors and outdoors. Wash your clothes and hair after leaving tick-infested areas.

If you use an insect repellent containing DEET, always follow the recommendations on the product’s label and don’t overapply it. Place DEET on shirt collars and sleeves and pant cuffs, and only use it directly on exposed areas of skin. Be sure to wash it off when you go back indoors.

No vaccine for Lyme disease is currently on the market in the United States.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. 

Heat-Related Illness Symptoms and First Aid

A man and his dog on the Overhanging Rock in Yosemite National Park, May 1924

A man and his dog on the Overhanging Rock in Yosemite National Park, May 1924



Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen
Heavy sweating

First Aid:

Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm.
Give sips of water, if nausea occurs, discontinue water



Heavy sweating
Cool, pale, clammy skin
Weak pulse
Possible muscle cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Normal temperature possible

First Aid:

Move person to a cooler environment
Remove or loosen clothing
Apply cool, wet cloths
Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (or sunstroke)


Altered mental state
Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
High body temperature (106°F or higher)
Skin may be hot and dry, or patient may be sweating
Rapid pulse
Possible unconsciousness

First Aid:

Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging
Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s
Use extreme caution
If temperature rises again, repeat process
Do NOT give fluids

The Hazards of Excessive Heat

Summertime – Keep Summer Fun

Joaquín Sorolla, Children on the Seashore, 1903

Joaquín Sorolla, Children on the Seashore, 1903

Summer fun is just around the corner and as kids start spending more time outside, parents should know all of sun safety basics; sunburn protection, how to choose a sunscreen, and how to treat burns.

Sun Safety

Water safety

Summer Safety

Sun Protection Clothing Basics


Skin Cancer Facts

New Sunscreen Labels

Travel – Traveling with Children


We are at the time of year for family vacation planning. Many of my parents ask when they should travel with their children. It is always hard to travel with your kids, but it can be a lot of fun with both good timing and planning.

Newborns are not good travelers, nor are their parents. The first 4-6 weeks after birth should be focused on the mom’s recovery from the pregnancy and delivery. I try to discourage travel prior to 4 months of age. Most of the first time parents do travel because of the excitement and the desire to share that excitement with friends and family.

Some simple tips: Fly if possible but all carry on must be things for the baby. Pay extra to stow your bags. Book direct flights early in the day. Avoid connecting flights if possible. It seems that there are always unexpected delays and missed connections. Always carry on extra clothes and twice as many diapers as you may anticipate. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen prior to travel may make discomfort due to air pressure a little more bearable. If you must travel by car consider renting a newer model car. Take an umbrella not just for rain but to avoid sun exposure if you are forced to stop for assistance. Always have water and food for the baby. Mix formula as you need it to avoid prolonged heat exposure to prepared formula. It will go bad and may make your infant ill.

traveling with children website from the CDC