The Labor Day holiday weekend is just ahead – and many will take to the highway for the “last” weekend of summer, perhaps to a lake or pool, beach or the great outdoors.
The American Red Cross wants you to enjoy your holiday and stay safe by following some simple, common-sense safety tips:
If traveling by vehicle is part of your plans these safety steps are for you:
- Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. Clean your headlights and turn them on as dusk approaches or in inclement weather.
- Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver available.
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.
- Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- If you plan to swim in the ocean, a lake or river, be aware that swimming in these environments is different than swimming in a pool. Be sure you have the skills for these environments.
- Swim only at a beach with a lifeguard, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards and ask them about local conditions.
- Make sure you swim sober and that you always swim with a buddy. Know your limitations and make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
- Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous.
- If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
BE SAFE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Being prepared is critical when people are out in remote areas with limited access to phone service, hospitals and emergency help. Before you head out, follow these steps:
- Take a Red Cross First Aid/CPR course so that you will know what to do in case help is delayed. You’ll learn how to treat severe wounds, broken bones, bites and stings and more.
- Know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Plan accordingly. Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face.
- Dehydration is also a danger. People planning a camping trip should plan for these dangers.
- Share your travel plans and locations with a family member, neighbor or friend.
- Pack a First Aid Kit – make sure to include insect repellant, sunscreen and personal medications.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.