Monthly Dementia Caregiver Support Group, Domestic Violence Legal Aid, and Community Health Drop-In Hours At Crane Library

The Thomas Crane Public Library announces that two popular community resources are now recurring, monthly programs at the library.

In partnership with The Alzheimer’s Association MA/NH Chapter, we’ll be hosting a monthly Dementia Caregiver Resource & Support Group on the second Monday of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Classroom on the top floor of the Main Library on 40 Washington St. In partnership with DOVE, DOVE attorneys will be returning monthly to the Main Library on 40 Washington St. on the third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. – 12 noon in the 1st Floor Conference Room to provide legal insight for survivors of domestic violence.

In partnership with Manet Community Health Center, registered nurses will be available at the Library to provide public health supplies and appointment assistance, as well as snacks, clothing, and toiletries every Wednesday from 10 AM – 12 PM in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the Main Library. These programs are free and confidential. No appointment nor registration required for any of these programs.

NEW Monthly Dementia Caretakers Support Group:

Join Jessie with the Alzheimer’s Association for our Dementia Caregiver Resource & Support Group! Build a support system with people who understand. The first meeting will be held Monday, July 8 from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Main Library. All are welcome.

Alzheimer Association support groups, conducted by trained facilitators, are a safe place for people living with dementia and their care partners to:

  • Develop a support system

  • Exchange practical information on challenges & possible solutions

  • Talk through issues and ways of coping

  • Share feelings, needs and concerns

  • Learn about community resources

NEW Monthly Lawyer in the Library with DOVE for DV Survivors:

DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) attorneys will be on-site at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy to talk with people who have experienced abuse by an intimate partner and have legal questions about divorce, custody, child support, restraining orders, immigration or other related legal issues. DOVE attorneys will be able to provide general legal information, answer questions, and help with referrals for other services like counseling and safety planning. We can also answer questions about our services for those who have friends or family members who might be facing domestic violence. We can offer telephone interpretation for most languages. All of DOVE’s services are free and completely confidential. For the first session, join us on Friday, July 19 from 10 AM – 12 PM at the Main Library to get started!

DOVE is a non-profit organization that provides supportive services to domestic violence survivors and their families, including legal advice and advocacy, one-on-one counseling, safety planning, support groups, education, and emergency shelter. DOVE is located in Quincy, and serves survivors across Norfolk County. Survivors in Norfolk County in need of legal assistance can also contact DOVE’s Legal Helpline directly by phone at (617) 770-4065 ext. 400, by text message at (617) 657-9719 or on their website at www.dovema.org/legal-advocacy.

NEW Weekly Drop-In Hours with Manet Community Health Center

The Manet Community Outreach Team holds drop-in hours at the Main Library every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the top floor of the Main Library. Registered nurses are on hand to provide things like:

  • harm reduction materials like Narcan, wound care kits and fentanyl test strips

  • snacks, clothing, toiletries to those who need them

  • referrals for SUD treatment or Medication Assisted Treatment, or referrals to a Recovery Navigator for specific help for those looking for recovery from addiction

  • referrals for primary care doctors with Manet, or schedule follow up appointments with Manet providers

  • set up appointments with a health insurance navigator if someone needs help obtaining or changing health insurance plans

  • appointment booking for testing for STI/Hep C/HIV,

  • point people in the right direction for anything else they may need help with

All are welcome and no appointment is needed. 

Visit the Crane Library Events Calendar for more info and more great happenings at TCPL.

The Cranium Makerspace: July Open Hours & Adult Crafting Programs

The Thomas Crane Public Library Cranium Makerspace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing where people gather to get creative with DIY projects. The Cranium Makerspace serves as a communal creative space open to kids, teens, and adults to learn and use a variety of maker equipment such as Glowforge Laser Cutters, Toybox 3D printers, Robo E3 3D printers, Vaquform machines, Cricut machines, sewing machines, metal stamping tools, button makers, Sublimation printers, craft supplies, and more! The Library’s goal is to provide a space for patrons to cultivate their knowledge and skills in crafting and technology while building community.

This month, join us for fun adult crafting programs and to explore the space during any of our drop-in open hours! During Cranium open hours, you’ll be able to start a new craft, continue an existing craft, or ask and learn about the equipment we have.

July 2024 Drop-In Open Hours:

All Ages Welcome. Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Wednesday, July 10 | 5 – 7 PM

  • Wednesday, July 17 | 5 – 7 PM

  • Wednesday, July 24 | 5 – 7 PM

  • Wednesday, July 31 | 5 – 7 PM

Please note that The Cranium has a maximum capacity of 12 occupants at a time during open hours, and on some occasions we do have to turn people away when that capacity is reached.

July 2024 Adult Craft Programs:

Craft events require registration in order to account for supplies.

Online registration typically opens 2 weeks before the event date.

  • Mini Chalkboards Craft |  Thursday, July 11  |  6:30 – 8 PM

    • For Adults 18+ only

    • REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Register here

  • Make It Accessible! Informational Workshop |  Tuesday, July 16  |  3 – 4 PM

    • For All Ages; Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult

    • No Registration Required.

  • 3D Printed Keychains |  Thursday, July 18  |  6 – 7:30 PM

    • For Adults 18+ only

    • REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Register here

  • Origami Bookmarks |  Tuesday, July 23  |  2:30 – 4 PM

    • For Adults 18+ only

    • REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Register here

  • Rock Painting |  Friday, July 26  |  10 – 11:30 AM

    • For Adults 18+ only

    • REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Register here

Due to popular demand, if you can no longer make it to one of the events, please cancel your reservation as soon as possible so people on the waitlist have a chance to join! You can cancel through the registration email you received or call the Library at (617) 376-1300.

Visit the Crane Library’s Events Calendar for more info and more great happenings at TCPL.

The Cranium Makerspace programs are generously sponsored by the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library.

The Cranium was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

State Public Health Officials Alert Residents About Potential Exposure to Measles in Multiple Locations

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is alerting residents of a case of measles that was diagnosed in an international visitor who traveled through Boston to Amsterdam using public transportation on Saturday, June 22 while infectious. The traveler was present in public locations that could have resulted in exposure to other people.

Measles is more easily spread than almost any other disease. The virus that causes measles lives in the nose and throat and is sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. It can stay in the air for up to two hours. Other people nearby can then inhale the virus.

“Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease that has seen an increase in cases and outbreaks worldwide,” said Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD. “People who are not vaccinated are at greater risk of infection. The best way for people to protect themselves from this disease is to make sure they are vaccinated.”

DPH urges all those who do not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.  Measles vaccine given within 72 hours of exposure may prevent measles disease, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures.  DPH, local health departments, and healthcare providers are working to contact individuals at high risk for exposure to this traveler.  However, exposures on public transportation make identification of high-risk contacts challenging. Those exposed who do not have evidence of immunity to measles may be subject to quarantine for up to 21 days following the exposure.

Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to two weeks after exposure and may resemble a cold (with fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes) and a rash occurs on the skin two to four days after the initial symptoms develop. The rash usually appears first on the head and then moves downward. The rash typically lasts a few days and then disappears in the same order.  People with measles may be contagious up to four days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears.

Measles is very contagious. People who are not immune and visited any of the locations on the specified dates and times below may be at risk for developing measles.  Anyone who visited these locations on any of these dates during the times listed is advised to contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status.

Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times:

Saturday, June 22, 2024

11:40 a.m. Dartmouth Coach bus line departure from Hanover, NH

Dartmouth College to Boston, MA arriving at Logan Airport (Boston, MA) at approximately 2:40 p.m.

2:40 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. Terminal E at Logan Airport, Boston, MA 

Flight KLM6016 from Boston to Amsterdam departing from Gate E5

Those who were exposed and begin to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic, or emergency department. Visiting a healthcare facility may put others at risk and should be avoided. If you do need to visit a health care facility, please make sure to wear a mask to reduce possible transmission.

People who have had measles, or who have been vaccinated against measles per US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations are considered immune. The CDC recommendations are:

  • Children. Children should receive their first dose of Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months.  School-aged children need two doses of MMR vaccine.
  • Adults. Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high risk need two doses of MMR, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students. Adults born in the US before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures.

Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.

For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. To learn more about measles, visit DPH’s website.

MassDOT Advises Travelers To Plan Ahead For Busy Fourth of July Travel 

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is advising travelers to plan ahead and expect increased volumes of traffic for the Fourth of July holiday period.  If traveling, MassDOT recommends utilizing “real time” travel tools, checking holiday schedules for public transportation, and planning trip departure times and routes based on available information. 

“With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday approaching, we’re encouraging drivers to plan ahead and make use of MassDOT resources when planning holiday travel,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. “Travelers should also be aware that the monthlong closure of the Sumner Tunnel will begin on Friday, July 5, and are encouraged to consult MassDOT materials on detours and mitigation options. All of us at MassDOT wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday.”  

 All Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices are closed on Thursday, July 4, including Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) customer service locations. Many RMV transactions can be done online:  www.mass.gov/RMV.  In addition, any resident who is a member of AAA can also make appointments at AAA locations for some Registry transactions. 

The Sumner Tunnel in Boston will be closed seven days a week, from Friday, July 5 to Monday, Aug. 5. During this time, traffic will be diverted through other signed detour routes.  This information can be found on the project website at www.mass.gov/sumner-tunnel 

 Using traffic data, MassDOT has created a traffic forecast for the holiday weekend. Wednesday, July 3 is expected to be the busiest travel day. On Thursday, July 4, drivers are encouraged to avoid morning travel, with traffic expected to be lighter in the evening. On Friday, July 5, traffic is expected to be heaviest mid-day. On Saturday, July 6, traffic is expected to be heaviest in the morning. Traffic is expected to be heaviest mid-day on Sunday, July 7.  

 In addition, the MBTA has released the following information: 

  • On Thursday, July 4, bus, subway, ferry, Commuter Rail and RIDE trips will be fare free after 9:30 p.m.   
  • Subway: The Red, Orange, Blue, and Green Lines will operate a modified Saturday schedule until 3 p.m. After 3 p.m., all lines will operate a regular weekday schedule.    
  • Bus and Silver Line: All routes will operate a Sunday schedule.   
  • Commuter Rail: All lines will operate a weekend schedule.   
    • Passengers should note that all last Commuter Rail trains leaving North Station and South Station will be held for 30 minutes after the close of the fireworks before making final return trips.   
  • The RIDE: All RIDE services will operate a Sunday schedule.    
  • Ferry:   
    • The Hingham/Hull/Logan Ferry will run on a Saturday schedule.   
    • The Charlestown Ferry will run on a weekend schedule.   
    • The East Boston Ferry will run on a weekend schedule.   
    • The Lynn Ferry will run on a weekend schedule.   
    • The Winthrop/Quincy Ferry will not operate.  
  • The CharlieCard Store will be closed on Thursday, July 4.  

 The I-93 Boston-Quincy High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane will deploy early for the holiday, opening at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2, and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. The HOV lane will not be deployed on Thursday, July 4 and Friday, July 5, and will return to normal deployment times on Monday, July 8. 

 Non-emergency roadwork will be restricted outside of fixed work zones starting at 5 a.m., Tuesday, July 2, through9 p.m. Monday, July 8.   

 For those flying through Boston Logan International Airport, Massport is expecting an increase in passengers around the holiday weekend. Travelers are urged to use public transportation and HOV modes, such as the MBTA’s Blue and Silver Line, (free from Logan), and Logan Express. For those driving to and from the airport, please add an extra two hours of travel time. Drivers are asked to use the Cell Phone Lots until the traveler is ready for pick up at the curb by a terminal. Passengers can download the free FlyLogan app to access information about the airport, flight status, purchase Logan Express tickets, reserve parking, among other services.   

  For more information about Logan Airport, visit https://www.massport.com/logan-airport  

 For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:  

  • Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit www.mass511.com to view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions, and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.  
  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.  
  • Follow @MassDOT on X, (formerly known as Twitter), to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions. 

Summer Reading 2024 at the Thomas Crane Public Library

Join the Thomas Crane Public Library for another summer reading challenge for each age group – adults, teens, and children! Summer Reading 2024 will run from July 1 to Aug. 23. This year’s theme is Read, Renew, Repeat. Conservation as a movement focuses on protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services, and protecting biological diversity.

There is also an additional all-ages mini reading challenge – 2024 Reading Olympics – that will run from Saturday, July 27 to Saturday, August 10. Readers of all ages will compete to see which age group can read the most minutes during that time! There will be a Reading Olympics Opening Ceremony at the Main Library on Saturday, July 27 from 2 – 4 PM for participants to sign up for the Reading Olympics Challenge, learn about the Olympics, pick up a mini bingo card, and take home activities, as well as related books. Which age group will come out on top and earn bragging rights this summer?!

Adult Summer Reading 2024

Adult Summer Reading is available for anyone 18+, whether you are rediscovering your love of reading or a dedicated bookworm.

Participating is easy!

  • Summer Reading: Sign up on Beanstack starting July 1. Here you can track your reading along with other activities & programs you complete this summer.
  • You can pick up a bingo card at any of our branches or download the pdf online from bit.ly/AdultSummerRead2024 
  • We’re bringing back our Summer Beach Reads Bundle! If you would like to pick up a curated selection of 3 books, please fill out this form here
  • You can collect raffle tickets for each book you read, program you attend, and activity you complete. We will host a drawing at our End of Summer Reading Party on Wednesday, August 28 on the Olmsted Lawn!

Teen Summer Reading 2024

Read to Bead! From July 1 through August 23, earn a bead for every library book checked out. Check out at different branches and desks for different kinds of beads! Then join us later in August for a bead swap and craft!

Children Summer Reading 2024

Children’s Summer Kick-Off: Join us on the Olmsted Lawn on Friday, June 28 from 10 AM – 12 PM at the Main Library as we prepare to kick off two full months of FREE Summer fun for children of all ages. Pick up your necklace, brag tag and reading log to begin recording time for our Summer Reading challenge! Join us for fun activities and learn about all that will be happening this summer.

Read & Bead for Summer 2024

Read, Renew, Repeat this summer with our summer reading events and Read & Bead! The Read and Bead Challenge is for children ages 3 to 12 to earn beads for time spent reading!

Come into any Thomas Crane Library location to pick up a paper tracker or track online! To track online, make an account on Beanstack. Call Children’s Services at 617-376-1300 x4 if you have any questions.

When you finish 12 hours of reading, you get a metal ice cream bangle AND a coupon for the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library Bookstore! Pick up your beads by Aug. 30.

Is your child too young for beads? Ask about our special baby & toddler summer reading activity.

Visit the Crane Public Library Events Calendar for Summer Reading celebrations and more summer fun!

Eastern Nazarene College To Close

The Board of Trustees of Eastern Nazarene College on Tuesday announced it unanimously voted to begin the process of closing the Wollaston school and transitioning it into a new educational enterprise that will carry on ENC’s legacy of providing a transformational education that equips diverse students to lead and serve our world as agent of Christ’s love and truth.

Like all small, private, liberal arts colleges, Eastern Nazarene has faced significant financial headwinds in recent years, the board said in its announcement. During that time, the Board and multiple presidents have pursued numerous alternatives to closure. While these efforts produced fruit that enabled ENC to continue operating until now, the underlying challenges have intensified. It has become clear that transitioning to a new educational enterprise is the only viable path for continuing ENC’s mission of providing transformational education.

“As we enter this season of transition, the Board and President Derr are focused on three priorities: caring for the present, honoring the past, and ensuring a vibrant future,” said Dr. David W. Bowser, Chair of the Board of Trustees of ENC. “Our top priority in the coming weeks is caring for those most directly affected by this decision: our students, faculty and staff.”

ENC’s goal, pending the commitment of a critical mass of students and faculty, is to continue serving undergraduate and graduate students who are on track to graduate by the end of the year. Administrators have arranged teach-out agreements with three institutions – Gordon College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Trevecca Nazarene University – to provide streamlined transfer options for all other students. ENC will also provide job-placement support and access to counseling resources for faculty and staff affected by the closure.

“We know many in our community will have questions about immediate next steps and long-term term plans for ENC’s programs and assets,” said ENC President Rev. Dr. Colleen R. Derr. “While the outcome of this process is known, the process to get there remains fluid. We are committed to communicating with our stakeholders in a timely and transparent way to ensure those most affected by this transition have the information and support they need. We are also committed to close collaboration with state and federal officials, our accreditor and our partners in the Church of the Nazarene to ensure we are serving our community and our neighbors well during this process.”

ENC has communicated directly with students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders to make them aware of this decision, and ENC staff will also be reaching out to these stakeholders to provide direct support based on their unique situations. More information for students, families, faculty, staff, alumni, partners and the community will be made available on ENC’s website (www.enc.edu/closure) in the coming days.

“We know this news will come as a shock and disappointment to many, especially those whose lives have been transformed by their affiliation with Eastern Nazarene College through its rich history,” Bowser said. “We look forward to creating opportunities to celebrate this rich history and preserve ENC’s legacy moving forward. Taking this step now will ensure the continuation of ENC’s mission to provide a transformational education through annual scholarships that empower students living in our region to attend other Nazarene schools.”

STARS Of The Spectrum Musical Festival Aug. 3rd At Veterans’ Memorial Stadium

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism will host STARS of the Spectrum Music Festival, the nation’s only “By autism, For autism” concert at this scale – on Saturday, Aug. 3rd at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium in Quincy.

The event will feature dozens of the most talented autistic musical performers from around the country, as well as many nationally acclaimed music acts. It builds of the success of the 25th Anniversary Concert at Fenway Park last year, where 5,000 people attended – many of whom were local residents with autism and their friends/families.

Organizers said there are over 4,600 people slated to attend the Aug. 3rd music festival with a goal of 10,000. Guests will experience a fully sensory-inclusive environment that uplifts and elevates the voices and talents of people with autism and their families.

For ticket and more information, visit https://flutiefoundation.org/starsofthespectrum/

Legislature Approves Sales Tax Holiday Weekend Aug. 10-11

The Massachusetts Legislature has approved Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 as a sales tax holiday weekend for Massachusetts. On those days, the Massachusetts sales tax of 6.25% will be suspended for most items that retail for less than $2,500.

The holiday welcomes Massachusetts residents to visit retailers and small businesses around the state. A spike in consumer activity routinely boosts indirect tax revenues. According to the Department of Revenue, during the 2023 sales tax holiday, indirect tax revenues due to increased economic activity were approximately $3.54 million.

“Each year, the Legislature’s temporary suspension of the sales tax aims to boost revenue for small businesses and enhance affordability for consumers,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D Quincy). “I want to thank my colleagues in the House, along with Senate President Spilka and our partners in the Senate, for their annual support for this economic development initiative.”

“The sales tax holiday is a great opportunity for residents to get out and support the local businesses in their community and get some shopping done during a time of year when people are gearing up for the fall,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “I’m glad we worked together in the Legislature to get this done for residents again this year. I’m thankful to Senator Moran for leading the initiative in the Senate, all of my Senate colleagues, Speaker Mariano, and our partners in the House.”

“We hear so frequently, both from constituents and those living across Massachusetts, about the continued interest in offering sales tax holidays. I’m so glad we were able to work together to make this possible,” said Sen. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). “Thank you to my colleagues in the Legislature for creating this opportunity to save shoppers a bit of money and encourage the support of our local businesses.”

“The annual August sales tax holiday brings much-needed stimulus to our retailers, especially our local small businesses,” said Rep. Tackey Chan (D-Quincy). “I’m glad that the Legislature prioritized setting a date for this annual event.”

“The sales tax holiday weekend is an annual economic driver for Massachusetts, generating millions of dollars in economic activity,” said Representative Bruce J. Ayers (D-Quincy). “It’s an important way for the Legislature to support small businesses, as well as consumers, and I’m grateful to legislative leadership for once again bringing it forward for our constituents.”

Summer Safety Guidance From MA Dept. Of Public Health

With summer approaching, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reminds residents to take recommended commonsense precautions to keep everyone, especially young children and those working outside, safe this summer.

“Summer in New England means spending time outside in the sun, in the water, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the park or backyard,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD. “It is also a time to be aware of the importance of taking seasonal precautions that can make this fabulous time of year safer and more enjoyable.”

Prevent Tick Bites 

Certain kinds of ticks can bite and make you sick with diseases such as Lyme disease and Powassan virus. Ticks are most commonly found in damp, grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, including your own backyard. Ticks only attach when you come into direct contact with them — they cannot jump or fly. Follow these steps to help protect yourself from tick bites:

  • Check yourself for ticks once a day — it’s the single most important thing you can do.
  • Use repellents with an EPA-registered active ingredient; always follow the directions on the label.
  • Weather permitting, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks. This will help keep ticks away from your skin and make it easier to spot ticks on your clothing.
  • After spending time outdoors, a shower can help rinse off a tick before it becomes attached and putting your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes can help kill ticks.
  • Pets that spend time outdoors are exposed to ticks, too, and may bring ticks back inside. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to protect your animals from ticks and tick-borne disease.

Prevent Mosquito Bites

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV) are two mosquito-borne diseases that occur in Massachusetts. While there were no cases of EEE in Massachusetts last year, there were six people with WNV. Mosquito surveillance is essential to monitor activity as the summer unfolds. DPH posts updates about activity throughout the season on the Massachusetts Arbovirus Update page.

While the risk for human infection of EEE or WNV won’t occur until mid to late summer, people have an important role to play in protecting themselves from these illnesses which can be very serious. To prepare for mosquito season:

  • Drain standing water in and around your house or yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient according to the directions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to reduce exposed skin when weather permits.

For more information about preventing mosquito and tickborne illness, visit DPH’s Mosquitoes and Ticks page.

Swimming in Natural Bodies of Water and Staying Safe in a Pool 

Drowning is a leading cause of death among young children ages 1-14 nationally and in Massachusetts, with backyard pools posing the highest risk for children under age 5. To help prevent water-related injury and drowning:

  • Always supervise children in and around water at all times.
  • Infants and toddlers should be within an arm’s length at all times providing “touch supervision” in or around water, including the bathtub.
  • Teach young children to always ask for permission before going near the water.
  • Never dive headfirst into the water. Make sure water depth is properly marked on the pool deck and vertical walls.
  • Do not swim alone in unfamiliar waters.
  • Look out for fallen tree branches and sharp rocks in the water.
  • Do not swim during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Completely separate the house and play area of the yard from the pool area with a fence at least 48 inches high. Consider automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access.
  • Remove floats, balls, and other toys from the pool after use so that children are not tempted to reach for them. After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they cannot get back in.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) and a phone near the pool.
  • Keep a first aid kit that meets ANSI 2308.1-2015 standards (including items like adhesive bandage, trauma pad, & CPR mask) close to the pool.
  • For children who cannot swim, use a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. DPH, in cooperation with the USCG, has created a fit test video that can assist with proper fit testing of life jackets: https://youtu.be/1I3VZf-NqPc.
  • Do not use toys such as “water wings” or “noodles” in place of life jackets. These are not designed to keep swimmers safe.

In public swimming areas:

  • Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible, and swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Look for signage at beaches. DPH collects beach water quality dataand notifies the public about bacteria levels to minimize swimming-associated illness and injury.
  • Know the limits of your swimming skills. Each summer, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) provides free swimming lessons to children at select agency pools across Massachusetts through its  Learn to Swim

Consider becoming a lifeguard:  DCR is recruiting lifeguards to work at its inland and coastal beaches, as well as swimming pools. The hourly pay for pool and waterfront staff is between $22 to $27, depending on position and associated certifications. Qualified applicants can receive up to $1,050 in signing bonuses. For more information, visit the DCR’s lifeguarding website.

Window Safety

Falls from windows involving young children are especially serious – and preventable. Screens are not strong enough to protect children from falling out of windows. To prevent window falls, parents and caregivers should:

  • Keep furniture – and anything a child can climb on – away from windows.
  • If young children are around, keep windows closed and locked. Only open windows for ventilation that are out of children’s reach. Window screens are not a security measure, and many children fall through them.
  • Open windows from the top, not the bottom, when possible and lock all unopened doors and windows.
  • Be sure children are always supervised.
  • Install quick-release window guards which can be found in most hardware stores.

To learn more about childhood injury prevention, visit the DPH Injury Prevention and Control Program website.

Car Safety

Leaving children and animals inside of a vehicle can be very dangerous. In the summer months in New England, the temperature in a closed car can rise quickly, and the vehicle can become a deadly place for a child or animal left in it, even for just a moment.

To keep young children and animals safe in and around cars:

  • Never leave children or animals alone in a parked vehicle, even when they are asleep or restrained, and even if the windows are open.
  • Always check inside the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away.
  • If a child is missing, check your vehicle first, including the trunk.
  • Do things to remind yourself that a child or animal is in the vehicle, such as placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat so you will check there when you leave the vehicle.
  • Always lock your car and keep the keys out of children’s reach.
  • Ensure adequate supervision when children are playing in areas near parked motor vehicles.

If you see a child or animal alone in a hot vehicle, call the police. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible and call 911 immediately.

Remember, children ages 12 and under should ride in the back seat, properly restrained, even during quick errand trips. Infants and toddlers should remain in rear-facing car seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they are 2-4 years old and or have met the weight limit of the car seat manufacturer. More information on child passenger safety is available on the DPH website.

Preventing Rabies Exposures

All mammals (animals with fur) can get rabies and there are usually more than 100 rabid animals found every year in Massachusetts. Most of these cases occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, woodchucks, and foxes, but some pets (especially cats) and farm animals also get rabies.

People can be exposed to the rabies virus when an infected animal bites them, or when the animal’s saliva gets into a scratch or the person’s eyes, nose, or mouth. People who are bitten or scratched by an animal, or who find a bat in a room when someone is sleeping, or with a young child or pet, should call their local board of health or the DPH Division of Epidemiology at 617-983-6800 for advice.

Other rabies prevention steps include:

  • Teach children never to approach animals they don’t know – even if they appear friendly.
  • Report any animal that seems sick or injured to the local animal control official.
  • Enjoy wild animals from a distance and do not keep wild animals as pets.
  • Make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies. By law, all dogs, cats, and ferrets must be regularly vaccinated against rabies; this will protect them if they are exposed to the disease.
  • Don’t leave food or water for pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.
  • Do not let pets roam freely. Keep them in a fenced yard or on a leash.
  • Keep garbage securely covered. Open garbage will attract wild or stray animals.
  • Keep chimneys capped and repair holes in attics, cellars, and porches to help keep wild animals like bats and raccoons out of the house.

Sun and Heat Protection 

High temperatures and increased sun exposure mean that additional precautions should be taken when spending time outside, either recreationally or on the job.

  • Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinks like coffee and soda may dehydrate, so they should be followed with water.
  • Wear sunglasses, sunscreen (SPF of at least 30) 15-20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, and/or wear protective clothing to avoid sunburn.
  • Seek shade and breaks from the sun throughout the day.

Additional tips on sun and heat protection can be found on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extreme Heat and Your Health Website or the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website.

RMV Reminds Residents They Will Need a REAL ID or Current Passport to Board a Plane Starting in May 2025 

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding residents that beginning May 7, 2025, anyone traveling by plane domestically or entering certain federal building areas will need a Registry-issued REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID, or a valid passport. To help ensure compliance, a countdown clock is now live at Mass.Gov/RMV.

The Registry is encouraging everyone seeking a REAL ID compliant license or identification card to go online at Mass.Gov/ID to learn what documents are needed for a required in-person appointment.

“The countdown is on for REAL ID federal enforcement and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, and its partner AAA Northeast, have successfully been issuing REAL ID credentials and are prepared for interested residents prior to the May 2025 deadline,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “We want Massachusetts residents to know they can upgrade to the REAL ID driver’s license or identification card during their normal renewal process for the same cost as a renewal. For the customers who wish to do this, we highly recommend you schedule your appointment at least three weeks before your birthday so that you can receive your credential in the mail ahead of your expiration.”

The RMV has posted helpful information on REAL ID requirements that customers can use to prepare for their in-person visits, including convenient document checklists to help pre-stage REAL ID applications, at Mass.Gov/ID. Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts residency, proof of a full Social Security Number (SSN), and proof of lawful presence. Customers who have had a name change since the issuance of a birth certificate, passport or other document, will need to show the reason for the name change by presenting documentation like a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court document. These required documents must be original or certified versions. The RMV recommends customers gather these documents well in advance of appointments to ensure they have the information required by federal law.

Currently, Massachusetts is at 54 percent REAL ID adoption with almost 3 million credentials being REAL ID-compliant. Customers are eligible to renew up to one year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID, and up to two years after the expiration date.

Prior to May 7, 2025, customers will not need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings.

The fee for renewing a non-commercial standard or REAL ID driver’s license is $50. The fee for renewing a Mass ID is $25. The fee for upgrading to a standard or REAL ID card is $25. Customers with a less than five-year stay in the U.S. pay a pro-rated fee.

Appointments can be scheduled by RMV customers by visiting the RMV’s Online Service Center at Mass.Gov/RMV or if you are a AAA member at https://northeast.aaa.com/automotive/registry-services/massachusetts.html.

For additional information and details on these and other RMV service offerings, please visit www.mass.gov/rmv.