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Safety Steps for Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Swim Safety

Millions of people will hit the road over the long Memorial Day weekend or kick off summer with some fun in the pool. The American Red Cross has some safety steps everyone can follow to have a safe holiday weekend.

DRIVE SAFELY With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.

Other tips for a safe trip include:

1. Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.

2. Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.

3. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

4. Make frequent stops.

5. Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.

6. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

7. Don’t overdrive your headlights.

8. Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.

9. Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.

10. Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

If you are traveling with your pet, the Red Cross has special advice to make your trip more enjoyable.

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POOL SAFETY Many people will spend part of the weekend enjoying time in a pool. Here are some steps you can follow to safely enjoy your summer water fun:

Ideally, you should learn to swim before enjoying the water. While at the pool:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • With children, constant supervision is key:

  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • As the temperatures soar, more and more of us will take to the water for some summer fun. For more on how to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer, visit our swimming and water safety information.

    DOWNLOAD THE EMERGENCY APP People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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