As we head outside to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather this summer, the American Red Cross offers 20 steps you can follow to stay safe.
Do your plans include a road trip? With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely.
1. Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.
2. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.
3. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
4. Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway.
5. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights.
Drowning can happen quickly and silently. Unless rescued, it could take as little as 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning person to submerge.
6. Prevent unsupervised access to water, provide constant, active adult supervision and know how to swim.
7. Swim in an area with lifeguards.
8. Designate a “water watcher” whose sole responsibility is to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
9. Don’t just pack it, wear your life jacket — always on a boat and if you are in a situation beyond your skill level.
10. Reach or throw, don't go! In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble and tell them to grab on to it. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.
Summer is a great time for a picnic. Be careful grilling, which causes 10,000 home fires every year.
11. Wash your hands, utensils and workstation before preparing the food.
12. Separate uncooked meats, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and desserts. Use separate plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.
13. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use and never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
14. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
15. Don’t leave food out in the sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the U.S. Being prepared for emergencies is critical when you’re headed to an area with limited access to phone services and help.
16. Know the ability level of the people in your group and the environment around you. Plan accordingly.
17. Pack a first aid kit to handle insect stings, sprains, cuts and bruises and other injuries.
18. Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face. Dehydration is also a danger. Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED course and download the free First Aid app so that you will know what to do in case help is delayed.
19. Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor or friend.
20. Bring nutritious food items and water, light-weight clothing to layer and supplies for any pets.
Find more safety information here.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.