NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Millions of people are looking forward to having fun and traveling this summer and the American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe.
"Preparation and prevention are key components of summer safety," said Kay W. Wilkins, chief executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana. "If an emergency occurs, people need to know what to do until advanced medical help arrives."
Below are some tips to keep you safe outdoors, no matter what activity you may be enjoying.
AVOID VACATION MISHAPS Vacationers should pack appropriate clothing, insect repellant, 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.
- 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.
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.
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.