NEW ORLEANS, THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 — Many Louisiana residents will spend this Memorial Day weekend taking a road trip, having their first picnic of the season or enjoying that first dip in the ocean or pool. Follow these American Red Cross tips to stay safe and relish all the long holiday weekend has to offer, and throughout summer.
The Red Cross wants you to safely celebrate summer with loved ones. We want you to be prepared to prevent and respond safely to mishaps,” said Joshua Joachim, chief executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana. “With prevention and preparedness top of mind, we want to encourage our neighbors to know what to do in emergencies until advanced medical help arrives.”
Below are some tips to keep you safe outdoors, regardless the activity you may be enjoying.
AVOID VACATION MISHAPS Pack appropriate clothing, insect repellent, sunscreen and first aid items. Include soap, tweezers, wound gel, personal medication and items such as fever reducers, fungal creams and pain relievers.
WHAT TO DO IF:
- Stung by a jellyfish? Wash liberally with vinegar as soon as possible for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar isn’t available, make a thick mixture of baking soda and water.
- Mosquitoes biting? Ideally the first step is to prevent mosquito bites. If not, use an over-the-counter product to reduce the itch and urge to scratch.
- Sick stomach? Keep the person hydrated and take a medication made specifically for someone with tummy woes.
- Too long in the sun? Get out of the sun, cool the area and use topical pain relief medication if needed.
- Blisters? Leave it alone to protect the area. If the blister may cause further injury, puncture at the base, clean and protect with another barrier such as a bandage.
- Allergic reaction? Remove the person from the allergen; give them oral antihistamines if needed. If the situation is life-threatening, consider the use of epinephrine.
WATER SAFETY Many will spend part of the weekend enjoying time in a pool, at the lake, on the river, or at the beach. Here are some steps you can follow to safely enjoy your summer water fun:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- If visiting the beach, be mindful of safety signs, and check the weather report before heading out to be aware of changing conditions throughout the day.
- The video below provides tips on how to respond to someone who may be struggling or drowning:
Never leave young children unsupervised
- 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.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Finally, visit your local pool and ask for Red Cross swim lessons from an authorized instructor.
Earlier this month, Red Cross trained swim instructors participated in the Ashley Kelly Swim Program, a week-long swimming course for children hosted at the Tulane University Reilly Student Recreational Center from May 8 - 12. In the video below, event organizer Latoya Kelly shares some additional swim safety tips.
For more on how to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer, visit our swimming and water safety information.
TAKE A CLASS Prepare for the unexpected with First Aid/CPR/AED training. Training can give people the skills and confidence to act in an emergency and to save a life. Red Cross offers a variety of online, blended (online content with in-class skills session) and instructor-led classroom training options. Register at redcross.org/takeaclass. A variety of First Aid kits and emergency supplies are available at redcrossstore.org.
DOWNLOAD APPS Download the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access on how to treat common emergencies as well as a hospital locator which is helpful for travelers. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Emergency App is a single ‘go-to’ source for weather alerts and safety tips for everything from a power outage, to a severe thunderstorm, to a hurricane. All Red Cross apps can be downloaded for free in 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.