Delaware State Fair connects fair-goers with Delaware agriculture

DOVER, Del. — The countdown is on for many Delaware youth and adult exhibitors as they get ready to showcase their agricultural exhibits at this year’s Delaware State Fair. Along with rides, food, and games, the state fair is a great opportunity for fair-goers to learn more about agriculture – Delaware’s top industry.

Boy watering his show pig between shows“By far, Delaware has one of the best fairs in the United States and with each year it only gets better. I encourage everyone to join our staff to celebrate the history and the accomplishments of 100th Delaware State Fair,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “This is an opportunity for Delawareans and visitors to learn about Delaware agriculture and all it does for our consumers and our economy. Take time to walk through the livestock barns to see the wide variety of animals that our young people are showing. Take time to ask questions and learn where your food comes from. Getting to see a dairy cow up close helps make the connection that milk comes from a cow.”

More than ninety-nine percent of Delaware’s 2,300 farms are family-owned. Delaware farmers produce a variety of agricultural products on more than 525,000 acres of farmland, including corn, soybeans, wheat, poultry and livestock, and fruits and vegetables. All of the state’s agricultural commodities can be experienced simply by visiting the barns and buildings along Holloway Street, from the front of the Fair by Quillen Arena all the way back to the 4-H/FFA Building (The Centre) and The Delmarva Building.

“We are excited to bring a new educational experience for visitors in the Department’s Agriculture Commodities and Education Building. So many people do not understand that their food really begins its journey on a family farm ─ not in the grocery store.” said DDA spokesperson Stacey Hofmann. “We have a really vibrant display that’s larger than life that will help start the conversation about how food gets from the farm to the table – whether your 5, 50, or 100.”

If you love trivia, the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Farms and Food game show is always a hit. Loaded with brand-new questions, bring your family and friends by the Delaware Agriculture Commodities and Education to have fun testing your Delaware agriculture knowledge.

Educational demonstrations will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. from the first day of fair, through the last Friday. Topics include:

• Thursday, July 18: Utopia Fruita Snacks for All; One Health: How the Health of Humans, Animals and the Environment are Interconnected
• Friday, July 19: Drying Herbs; Dish on Delmarva Poultry
• Saturday, July 20: Making Straw Bracelets; Watermelon Demo
• Sunday, July 21: Butter Churning; Cooking with Honey
• Monday, July 22: Worm Composting; Bee Talk
• Tuesday, July 23: Is It a Wasp or A Bee?; Watermelon Demo
• Wednesday, July 24: Heat to Toe Avocado Show; LeadDelaware Class 5
• Thursday, July 25: Trees are Terrific; Dish on Delmarva Poultry
• Friday, July 26: Butter Churning; Honey Extraction

This year, Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, Delaware’s Division of Public Health, and Delaware’s Division of Fish and Wildlife are teaming up during State Fair to educate the public about rabies prevention. There will be a hands-on educational exhibit in the Delaware Agriculture Commodities and Education Building the last five days, as well as the presentation “One Health: How the Health of Humans, Animals and the Environment are Interconnected” on Thursday, July 18 at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Rabies is an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Rabies is endemic to the East Coast, but it has become more of an issue as development encroaches on the habitat of wild animals. Infection can occur through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin. Fortunately, rabies is also almost completely preventable.

“In the past, when wild animals got rabies, they would typically die and no one would really know about it because they were in their own habitat. Every once in a while, a rabid animal would come in contact with a pet or person, and then the individual would go through the series of rabies shots or a pet would be quarantined,” said Dr. Karen Lopez, Deputy State Veterinarian. “But today, these animals are making it into our developments more frequently because we are now living in their backyard. Typical animal behavior is no longer present when a wild or stray domestic animal is infected with rabies. We want to make sure owners are vaccinating their pets, horses, and livestock. It is also important for everyone to know what to do if they get bitten or scratched by an animal capable of carrying rabies. If transmission does occur, rabies is considered a fatal disease.”

On the grounds, fairgoers can travel back in time and revisit the history of Delaware agriculture through the Antique Machinery Showcase held on July 20 in the Quillen Arena. This event features antiques dating back to the early 1900s, and even some before then. With antique tractors, broom makers, craftsmen, and more, there is something for all ages to experience.

Attendees can also get a glimpse of the equine industry throughout Fair. Exhibitors will be participating in English and Western classes, showmanship, showing horses in hand, and driving. Harrington Raceway is one of three tracks in Delaware that offers horse racing. On Thursday, July 25, fair-goers are invited to attend harness racing in the M&T Bank Grandstand with a 7 p.m. post time. With approximately $600,000 in total purses, the race program will be headlined by four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final events for 3-year-olds as well as program staples like the Governor’s Cup, which features some of Delaware’s top horses, ages three years and older. Governor John Carney will be on hand to present the trophy to the winner.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, 302-698-4542, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov


DPH Advises Residents to Prepare for Dangerously High Temperatures This Week

DOVER – As many Delawareans head outside for Fourth of July festivities, the Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages Delaware residents to prepare for extreme heat early this week and prevent heat-related illness as temperatures rise. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s through Tuesday, with the heat index values as high as 105 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for New Castle County through 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, and a Heat Advisory for Kent County and inland Sussex County through 8 p.m., Monday, July 2.

Our bodies have less chance to recover during hot days and warm nights, placing everyone at risk for heat-related illness. When temperatures and humidity are high, sweat ceases to evaporate and the body’s natural cooling system slows down or shuts down completely. Hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe respiratory conditions, which can be fatal.

Extreme heat is especially dangerous for seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and people with breathing conditions and other chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory problems. Higher temperatures, not even in the extreme, have also been associated with higher levels of inflammation in patients with preexisting heart health conditions. Also at risk are people without access to air conditioning, fans, or cooling shelters.

DPH suggests that every household make a heat wave plan in case of a power outage. Air conditioners should be serviced and electric fans should be obtained before the heat rises to dangerous levels. Residents should keep cases of bottled water on hand and listen to local news reports for the locations of community “cooling centers,” which are often public libraries or churches. During days of extreme heat, Delawareans should check on vulnerable members of their families and neighbors, including seniors and those with access and functional needs.

For those who may need additional assistance, Delaware 2-1-1 connects Delawareans with critical services and support. Eligible callers can receive referrals to crisis assistance, and nearby cooling centers.

Tips to prevent heat illness:
•  Do not leave anyone alone in a parked car, even for a minute. Call 911 if you see anyone (a child or adult with access and functional needs) who is unable to open a door or window and is left unattended in a vehicle. Keep your car locked when you’re not in it so children don’t get in on their own. When traveling with a young child in your car, create reminders to check your backseat, by putting something next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.

Also remember that any equipment left in a car can quickly become hot to the touch, especially metal pieces in child car seats, seatbelt handles, and wheelchairs. Check the temperature of these items prior to use to avoid potential burns.

Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks containing sugar, alcohol, or caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Check with a doctor before increasing fluid intake if you have epilepsy, heart, kidney, or liver disease, or if you are on a fluid-restrictive diet. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html for more information.

Stay indoors on the lowest floor possible. When outdoors, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear a hat or use an umbrella. Use sunscreen with SPF 30+. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself, and has been linked to skin cancer.

Avoid extreme temperature changes. Be careful trying to cool down too quickly; a cold shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can lead to hypothermia, particularly for the elderly and children. In these cases, cool water is better than ice cold water.

Limit outdoor activity, especially mid-day when the sun is hottest. Work out or hold team practices early in the morning or in the early evening. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) online course for coaches, athletic trainers, students, school nurses, parents, and teachers is available at: cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/extreme/Heat_Illness/index.html.

Heed the following heat danger warning signs and take suggested actions:

  • Heat cramps occur in the muscles of the limbs or abdomen during or after physical activity in high heat. Sweating results in a loss of fluids and salts that cause muscle cramps. Address heat cramps by resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water.
  • Heat exhaustion is more severe, occurring when a person is overheated, along with reduced or unbalanced intake of fluids. Symptoms include dehydration, fatigue, weakness, clammy skin, headache, nausea and/or vomiting, rapid breathing, irritability, and fainting. Take these simple steps to reduce heat exhaustion: Move the person indoors or into shade. Loosen or remove the person’s clothing. Encourage the person with heat exhaustion to eat and drink. Get the person to a cool shower or bath. Call your doctor for further advice.
  •  Heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself, and can be a life-threatening event. Prompt medical treatment is required. Symptoms include: flushed, hot and dry skin with no sweating; high body temperature (above 103 degrees F, taken orally); severe, throbbing headache; weakness, dizziness, or confusion; sluggishness or fatigue; decreased responsiveness; and loss of consciousness. If heat stroke occurs, take these steps: Call 9-1-1 immediately. This is a medical emergency. Get the heat stroke victim indoors or into shade. Get the person into a cool shower or bath or wipe them down with continuously soaked cool washcloths while awaiting emergency responders.

For more information, visit the CDC at cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html.

Make a Heat Plan for Pets:
DPH also urges pet owners to make a plan for caring for their pets. Animals at the greatest risk of stress from the heat include pregnant or lactating animals, very young and older animals, animals with darker coats, obese pets, short-nosed dog breeds, and animals with chronic health conditions. Signs of heat stress can include panting, increased salivation, restlessness, muscle spasms, increased heartbeat and body temperature, weakness, lack of coordination, bright red or pale and sticky gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.

•  Pets should not be left in vehicles, even in mild temperatures: Animals kept inside a vehicle in warm or hot temperatures are susceptible to heatstroke. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the interior of a vehicle can reach 89 degrees in just 10 minutes when the temperature outside is just 70 degrees. At 80 degrees outside, a vehicle’s interior can reach 99 degrees in that time. Temperatures will continue to rise inside a vehicle, and the AVMA states that cracking windows does little to help. Call 911 immediately if you see a pet left unattended in a vehicle.

•  Animals should have access to shade and water when outside: The best place for pets in hot temperatures is inside the home. If a pet must be outside in the heat, make sure the animal has a shady area and fresh water to help stay cool. The interiors of cat and dog houses can get very hot in summer months and, therefore, do not provide adequate shade.

•  Practice caution when walking dogs in the heat: The best time of day to walk dogs in summer months is in the early morning or late evening when the sun’s heat is not as intense. A simple touch of the hand to any surface where a walk is planned will tell if it’s too hot for a dog. If it’s too hot for a human hand, it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.

•  Pay attention to signs of heat stroke: Just like humans, dogs are susceptible to heat stroke in high temperatures, especially if there is increased activity or little ventilation. A dog that is drooling and panting due to heat can quickly progress to a heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. Immediate veterinary attention is suggested for dogs that have become over-heated.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Protect Yourself and Your Animals During Cold Weather

picture of thermometer showing temps under zeroDOVER – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is reminding residents to prepare both themselves and their animals as temperatures dip dangerously low this week. The National Weather Service is possible snowfall across the state Wednesday night into Thursday and near-record low temperatures with gusty winds Friday and Saturday.

Code Purple overnight shelters are activated across the state for people who are homeless, with additional nights expected through the weekend. Since most Code Purple sites use volunteers to manage operations, the activation and implementation vary by county and site. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, visit www.delaware211.org and click on the Code Purple button, or call the Delaware Housing Alliance’s Centralized Intake Line at 302-654-0126, ext. 112.

Hypothermia and Frostbite

Hypothermia is one of the greatest health risks to people in cold and freezing temperatures. Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, can occur in cold weather or if a person becomes chilled by rain. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it. Infants and the elderly are particularly at risk, but anyone can be affected.

Prevent problems before they occur:
When heading out in cold weather, remember the following:

  • Water-resistant or waterproof outerwear is advisable to reduce the risk of hypothermia. Dress in layers of loose-fitting clothes, including extra socks, which can be removed if they become damp. Wear warm, comfortable shoes.
  • Wear hats, water-resistant coats, scarves or knit masks to cover the face and mouth, and gloves or mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves.
  • Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Perspiration can increase heat loss, and wet clothing can chill the body rapidly.
  • When exerting yourself, it is important to remain hydrated by drinking water and other non-caffeinated beverages. Consuming alcoholic and caffeinated beverages can also cause the body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Cold weather can put extra strain on the heart, so individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure should follow their doctors’ advice about exerting themselves in the cold.

Recognize the symptoms of frostbite:

Frostbite, an injury to the body that is caused by freezing, is another significant health risk in cold and freezing temperatures. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite increases for people with reduced blood circulation and among those who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures. At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin – frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

  • A white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • Numbness

A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb. If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.

For more information on cold weather preparation, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Protect your pet during cold weather:

Harsh weather conditions and cold temperatures can also be harmful to your pet. Take steps to keep them warm and healthy this winter:

  • Bring pets indoors. This is the safest place for your pet during cold temperatures. Short-haired pets or very young or old pets should never be left outdoors in cold temperatures, and all pet dogs and cats should be brought indoors when the temperature falls below freezing. According to Delaware law, dogs cannot be left outdoors during hazardous weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. DPH urges people to closely monitor weather updates.
  • Protect outdoor pets from the elements. If your pet must be outdoors, you must provide a dry, draft-free shelter from the elements that contains moisture-resistant bedding such as straw or cedar shavings, which will help pets retain body heat. Housing should be appropriately sized for the animal and designed for animal sheltering. Pet owners should also provide a water-proof flap over the doorway to protect from wind and rain.
  • Ensure access to water at all times. Frequently check water bowls to ensure water is not frozen. If you typically use a metal watering bowl, replace it with plastic as a pet’s tongue can get stuck to metal in cold temperatures.
  • Additional food may be needed. Animals burn more calories in cold temperatures in order to stay warm, so you may need to increase the amount of food you provide. Check with your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs in cold weather.
  • Outdoor cats need attention, too. Whether outdoor cats are owned, stray, or feral, they need the same protection from cold weather as your pets. If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, provide them with dry, warm shelter, as well as food and water to help them survive dangerously low temperatures. For your own safety, do not handle any unfamiliar animals, particularly if the rabies vaccination status is unknown. An animal may have rabies and not exhibit any external signs.

If you see a pet that has been left outdoors in cold temperatures without proper shelter or protection from the elements, food, or water, report it immediately to the Delaware Animal Services Hotline at 302-255-4646. For more information, visit: https://animalservices.delaware.gov/.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


DPH Encourages Residents to Prepare Now for Emergencies as Peak Hurricane Season Begins

DOVER – In the Northern Atlantic Ocean, hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through late October. Though Delaware has never experienced a direct hit from a hurricane, it has experienced impacts from some passing by, and just as often, the intense effects from tropical storms and nor’easters. The impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas is a tragic example of how rain—even after a hurricane is over—can cause catastrophic loss of life and damage. Hazards from hurricanes and other storms include storm surge and severe flooding, along with high winds. These weather impacts can affect your drinking water, your ability to remain in your home, and your pets’ safety as well. If a hurricane or significant storm were on track to hit Delaware, would you know what to do?

The Division of Public Health (DPH) is encouraging everyone to prepare and make your plans now so that you’re ready in the event of a natural disaster or other type of emergency. Visit PrepareDE.org to get started. The website provides information about different types of disasters, such as damaging storms, flooding, severe heat or cold events, chemical leaks, and terrorist attacks. It also starts you on the right track to prepare with the below four basic steps:

  • Make a Plan: The site provides communication plan templates for parents and a separate one for children, commuters, pets and evacuations. Most importantly, practice your plan.
  • Make a Kit: After a major disaster, relief workers will be on the scene, but it may take time for them to get to you. You should prepare to take care of yourself and your family for up to three days by making emergency kits and a go bag. Here you’ll find out how much food, water, and what other supplies you’ll need to keep on hand to keep your family going.
  • Stay Informed: The Delaware Emergency Notification System (DENS) is the primary system for public warning and emergency protective action information in Delaware. The system allows local 911 centers or emergency managers to send messages to the specific street, neighborhood, or larger areas affected by the event. Register for DENS at PrepareDE.org.
  • Access Resources: This page contains videos showing you how to make a plan, a kit and lists training opportunities available to you.

During a hurricane or strong Atlantic storm, flooding could make drinking water unsafe, and high winds may take out power. DPH wants you to keep the following tips in mind before any potential problems arise:

Persons With Complex Needs
DPH recommends printing out a copy of the “Preparedness Buddy” brochure, and filling it out. This downloadable and printable brochure is a great template for helping people with access and functional needs to identify a Preparedness Buddy to help them prepare to manage through emergencies and develop a personal emergency plan. The brochure asks you to list such important information as medications you are taking, food and drug allergies, medical supplies and equipment, medical and personal caregivers or disability service providers, primary care physician, communication and mobility challenges, and your specific transportation needs. A copy of the completed brochure should go to your Buddy so they are prepared in case of an emergency to assist you. You should also identify and send a copy of the brochure to an out-of-state Preparedness Buddy. The Preparedness Buddy brochure can be found online at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/preparednessbuddy.html in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.

Food Safety
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends stocking a three-day supply of non-perishable food. If you lose electrical power, be very cautious with refrigerated foods. Keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40 degrees F for two or more hours.

If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish or eggs kept at safe temperatures, cook the food thoroughly to the proper temperature to kill bacteria. Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. Discard canned foods with swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or dents that prevent normal stacking or opening.

Safe Drinking Water
Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water. FEMA recommends stocking one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. If you are advised to boil your drinking water, heat water at the highest possible temperature so that it bubbles constantly (a rolling boil). Continue to boil water for one minute, and then let it cool. Store in clean, covered containers. Residents can also disinfect water using household bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before using it. Bottled water is another safe alternative.

For bottle feeding infants, use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. When using concentrated or powdered formulas, prepare with bottled water if the local tap water source is potentially contaminated. Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

For information on safe drinking water, visit the DPH website at http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/i-floodrecovery.html.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide
A common source of fatalities during and after storms is carbon monoxide poisoning. Released from gasoline-powered generators, camp stoves, grills, lanterns and charcoal-burning devices are designed for outdoor use only. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can be lethal at high levels. If combustion devices are used indoors, dangerous CO levels can build up rapidly with no warning. Never use them inside and always ensure that any outside use is well-ventilated.

Pet Safety
Create an emergency pet supply kit in a waterproof tote. Include enough food, water, medications or other necessities for each of your pets to last at least three days. Also include a copy of your pet’s medical records so you will have everything you need to sustain your pets in the event you and your pets need to evacuate quickly in an emergency. Pets should be wearing collars with tags that include your address and phone number.

Identify a safe room in your home for you and your pets, away from windows. Create a comfortable area for your pets with bedding and toys. If necessary, separate dogs and cats within the room or in separate rooms to minimize stress or conflict.

Bring all your pets inside immediately at the first sign or warning of a storm or severe weather, and keep them inside with you. Pets can become frightened, run away or hide during severe weather. As a result, they can become lost, injured or killed. Take precautions to ensure your pets are not able to exit the home without supervision.

September is National Preparedness Month. For more information about emergency preparedness throughout the year, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Power of Preparedness webpage. Also stay up to date on social media @CDCemergency or by searching #NatlPrep. You can also Support the Thunderclap for #SafeAndWellSelfie which invites you to take a #SafeAndWellSelfie with your family—pets included—at an emergency meeting place. Participation is easy:

1. Identify an emergency meeting place in your neighborhood.
2. Have a fire drill—evacuate your home and go to the meeting place.
3. Take a selfie and post it to Twitter and/or Facebook with the hashtag #SafeAndWellSelfie.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Ensure Your Pets are Safe During Fourth of July Festivities

Dog looks frightened by fireworksDOVER – The Fourth of July holiday may be a time for food, fun and fireworks for Delawareans, but what’s fun for humans can be dangerous for pets. The Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) advises pet owners to be aware that fireworks cause many pets to run away, and that holiday foods and heat can be harmful to our four-legged family members.

The loud boom of fireworks can spook pets and cause them to run away. Additionally, parties present many opportunities for cats and dogs to be let in and out of houses or yards by guests. The following tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association can help keep pets are safe from harm during Independence Day celebrations.

  • If your pet is sensitive to noises like fireworks or thunder, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on how to ease anxiety caused by fireworks and loud parties. Anxiety medications and treats, “thunder” shirts and behavioral training are all tools to help keep pets calm.
  • Leave pets at home if attending gatherings elsewhere. In addition to fireworks, strange places and crowds can spook an animal and cause them to flee.
  • Utilize a crate or escape-proof area of the home during parties and fireworks.
  • Those who expect guests during the holiday, or any celebration, should inform their company to be mindful of pets when entering or exiting a home or yard to avoid accidental escapes. Place signs on doors and gates that alert guests to be vigilant about pets.
  • Tell guests to refrain from sharing food meant for people as these can upset your pets’ stomach, or worse. After any in-home celebrations, check yards for food scraps and fireworks debris that animals may ingest.
  • Make sure sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and skewers are out of reach from your pets.
  • Stay vigilant about times when pets are outdoors. Pets are safest inside on hot and humid days. If they must be outside, ensure they have access to fresh water and secondary shade apart from dog and cat enclosures, which can become dangerously hot inside.

There are preventive steps owners can take to increase the chance of reunification with a pet that has run away. Make sure your pets have identification tags with current owner contact information. Have your pet microchipped, if they aren’t already. A microchip is an affordable device with owner information to ensure pets can return home if they get out and are found by someone else. Make sure the microchip is registered with up-to-date owner contact information. License your pet. It is the law in Delaware, and if your pet is picked up by animal welfare officers, it is your pet’s free ticket home. License information can be found at petdata/delaware.com.

Owners should have a clear, recent, picture of your pet(s) on hand in case the animal(s) run away. Post a picture, brief description and contact information on social media and make privacy settings accessible to the public so it can be shared and viewed by a larger audience than your contacts. Post bright flyers in your area.

If a pet does escape, post its photo and identifying information on the Office of Animal Welfare’s statewide Lost & Found Pet Registry, at animalservices.delaware.gov. Your pet may have been found by a neighbor or taken to a local animal shelter.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.