First with Kids, by Dr. Lewis First

A reality check on ticks and Lyme disease

The possibility of children getting Lyme disease really ticks off parents. Lyme is on the rise, and children who play outdoors in areas where deer ticks live are at risk. Last year, Vermonters reported almost 500 cases of Lyme. Northern New York has its fair share as well. Symptoms of Lyme ...

Have a plan in case someone gets lost in a crowd

The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is here, which means downtown Burlington will be busy with public events and big crowds. When there are a lot of people in a public space, there is a risk of a child getting lost. Let me offer some direction so you can find your way on this important topic. ...

Flushing out tips about potty training

Parents are often asking me to help them figure out the right time to start toilet training. Well, if parents haven’t learned to use the toilet yet, I don’t think they’re ever going to learn. If they’re asking about their toddlers, let me wipe up any concerns about this important ...

Some piercing insight on tattoos and piercings

Parents have been pinning me down with questions about what to say to their teen who wants a piercing or tattoo. We should no longer associate piercing and tattooing in teens with their being at an increased risk for using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Nowadays teenagers see body art such as ...

Calm advice for surviving temper tantrums

Parents have been crying out to me for help in managing their toddler’s tantrums. Well, I don’t want anyone pulling their hair out, so let me provide some information on toddlers and tantrums. Tantrums are an expected behavior for young children. They can happen when children are hungry, ...

New year’s resolutions

With the new year upon us, parents have asked me to help them with New Year’s resolutions for their children. Let me offer a few suggestions to ring in the new year. Infants should resolve to sleep on their backs, which helps to prevent sudden unexpected infant death. And they should keep ...

Cord stumps and belly buttons

Parents of newborns have been trying to stump me with their questions about how best to care for their baby’s belly button or umbilical cord stump. Let me try to clamp off anyone’s concern and provide some information on this topic. The quickest way to have the cord stump fall off, ...

Breathe more easily dealing with breath-holding spells

Parents have been holding their breath waiting for me to tell them what to do when their young children have what we call “breath holding spells,” especially when they get angry. I don’t want anyone to get blue in the face over this topic, so let me provide some information. Breath ...

When the bite is worse than the bark

We all enjoy being out and about as spring gets underway. And with more warm weather comes more children — and more dogs — outside in the same yard, field or just walking down the street. Believe it or not, more than 4.5 million dog bites happen each year. If you want to take the bite ...

Holiday travel that’s a dream, not a nightmare

With the holidays approaching, I am surprised at the number of horror stories I seem to be hearing from parents about traveling over the holidays with their children. Since I don’t want parents to have travel nightmares, let me provide a few “trips” or, rather, tips to make travel with ...

Sane holiday shopping with children

As the holiday season approaches, parents are eager for any shopping tips I can give — not in terms of gifts they might buy but in terms of taking their children shopping without a hassle. Let me see if I can “sale” through a few tips with you. First, know your child’s limits. ...

The pressing issue of peer pressure

Parents have been pressing me to give them some tips to help their children deal with peer pressure. Let me see if I can decompress some of their concerns and provide some information on this topic.Peer pressure can have both positive and negative effects on your child. If a peer of your ...