Back to School: Travel Safely

Commuting and Travel Safety Tips for Parents and Students
Written by Katie Lawson, Staff Writer,

As summer vacations come to an end, students across the country are readying themselves for the start of a new school year. With all of the excitement this time brings, safety may not be the first subject that springs to mind. The American Red Cross encourages parents to take time to talk with their children about safety before school starts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 24 million students nationwide start their school day with a trip on the school bus. Although NHTSA reports that riding on a school bus is nearly eight times safer than riding in a passenger vehicle, an average of 11 school-aged pedestrians are killed by school transportation vehicles each year. Whether they walk, ride the bus or travel by car, teach your kids these few tips to ensure they get to and from school safely.

Tips for School Bus Riders

  • Line up facing the bus, not along side it.
  • Do not play in the street while waiting for the bus.
  • Carry all loose belongings in a bag or backpack.
  • Never reach under the school bus to get anything that has rolled or fallen beneath it.
    The bus driver may be sitting too high up to see you.
  • After getting off the bus, move immediately onto the sidewalk and out of traffic.
    If there is no sidewalk, try to stay as far to the side of the road as possible.
  • Wait for a signal from the bus driver before crossing the street.
    Walk at least 10 steps away from the front of the bus so the driver can see you.Never cross the street or play behind the school bus.

Tips for Pedestrians or Bike Riders

  • Never walk alone—always travel with a buddy.
  • Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards along the way.
  • Never cross the street against a stop light. Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
  • Avoid ill-fitting clothing that could get caught in spokes or pedals or restrict movements, and wear reflective colors and material to be more visible to street traffic.
  • Walk your bicycle across all intersections.

Tips for Car Drivers and Passengers

  • Everyone in the car should wear a seatbelt, as they lower the risk of injury in the event of a crash by 45 percent.
  • Make sure babies and young children are in safety seats at all times, and that safety seats have been properly installed.
  • Read your car’s manual for safety precautions specifically relate to the car and its airbags.
  • Remind teenagers to take extra precautions if they are driving to school or riding with another teenage driver.

Tips for College-Bound Students

  • Students heading off to college—perhaps for the first time this year—may be inexperienced at driving long distances or driving alone. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, according to NHTSA. The risk of crashes is higher among 16- to 20-year-olds than among any other age group, and, unfortunately, young adults also are less likely to be buckled up than any other age group.

When preparing college-aged children for a long drive to school, make sure they take these precautions:

Preparing for the Trip

  • Before packing the car, do a simple safety check. Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure that all lights are in working order. Also check turn signals and look for any fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle. Make sure the tires are properly inflated.
  • When packing your belongings in the car, make sure you pack carefully so there is nothing blocking your view through the rear window. Check your mirrors before you leave to be sure you have an unobstructed view of the road.
  • Prepare an emergency supplies kit for your vehicle and keep it in your car at all times. Include a first aid kit and manual as well as items such as a blanket, flares, a flashlight and batteries, jumper cables that can be helpful and may even be lifesaving in the event of an emergency.
  • No matter how far your trip is, be sure you are well rested before you hit the road.

Hitting the Road

  • Leave early and give yourself enough time to travel at a comfortable pace. Remember, speeding does not increase your ability to arrive on time; it only increases your chances of not arriving at all.
  • Should you find yourself getting tired from the drive, pull over to a rest stop or gas station to walk around and refresh yourself.
  • Do not talk on your cell phone while driving. Phones are distracting and impair your ability to concentrate on the road. If you must use the phone, pull over to a safe, well-lit parking lot and place your call there or at least use a hands-free earpiece.
  • When driving in inclement weather such as rain storms, reduce your speed. Don’t make sudden moves if the roads are wet. Applying the brakes slowly and steadily will help you keep better control of your vehicle.
  • And, remember to always wear your safety belt and require any passengers who ride with you to do the same.

For more information about preparing for emergencies or for facts and tips about safety, visit

Red Cross Offers Flu-Prevention Tips for Kids Going Back to School

As parents and teachers know, children have a way of picking up colds and other illnesses at school. As the number of swine flu (H1N1 Flu Outbreak) cases increases in the U.S., it becomes even more important to teach kids how to stay healthy.

Teach Good Health Habits
Proper and consistent hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of flu. Teach kids by example by showing them proper hand washing technique:

  • Wet hands with water and apply an amount of soap recommended by the manufacturer to hands.
  • Rub hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and giving added attention to fingernails and surfaces where jewelry is worn.
  • Rinse hands with water.
  • Dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
  • Use towel to turn off faucet.

For younger children who may rush their hand washing, have them sing a short song such as “Row Row Row Your Boat,” or the “Happy Birthday”song, which will ensure they wash for at least 20 seconds. Placing hand-washing reminders at children’s eye level will also help them become consistent hand washers.

Teach kids to adopt these other healthy habits in order to prevent the spread of germs:

  • Avoid sharing objects such as utensils, cups, and bottles.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards. If tissue-less, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not your hands.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.

Parents should also prepare for the potential spread of swine flu by talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick. Also ask your child’s school or day care if there are plans to encourage sick children to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.

American Red Cross Assists Family of Seven Displaced by a Home Fire

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter responded to a house fire on the West Side of Green Bay around 2:00am on Thursday, August 27. The fire displaced a family of seven; four adults and three individuals under the age of 18.

Three American Red Cross Disaster workers assisted the family based upon immediate emergency need with lodging, monetary assistance for clothing and meals. We also provided the family with comfort kits (which include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, facial tissue, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and lotion) and homemade quilts.

Red Cross disaster assistance is free and is made possible by community donations. You can help individuals of this disaster and others by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter’s local disaster relief fund. For information call the Lakeland Chapter at 920-468-8535 or visit

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Red Cross Volunteers attend taping of Mike McCarthy Show

Forty-Two Red Cross Volunteers and their families where invited to a taping of the Mike McCarthy Show taping. Special play guest featured Desmond Bishop. Thank you to the Green Bay Packers for the invite. This was a nice way to honor our voluteers to say Thank You for all they do!  
Jim and Marilynn

Jim and Marilynn

Steve and Jess

Steve and Jess

Megan and Jean

Megan and Jean

Bruce, George, Jane and Sarah

Bruce, George, Jane and Sarah








American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter 2009 Volunteer of the Year: Ron Haduch

Ron Haduch, an American Red Cross Volunteer for six years and Disaster Team Chair for five years, has been an asset to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter. His dedication to leadership and dependability is why he was awarded the 2009 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Ron has shown his support to the many programs the Red Cross offers through fund raising, special event assistance, public presentations and blood donation. His efforts on the disaster team prove his willingness to go the extra mile.

“I have learned that there are many sides of the Red Cross and that there are many great things that the Red Cross does which makes being a volunteer like me proud to be involved in such a great organization as the Red Cross,” says Ron.

The Red Cross is an asset to the community and Ron is proud to be a volunteer at a great organization. He says, “the Red Cross is always there to help in time of need and that the internal rewards are the driving force.”

“When he is working with a client affected by a house fire or other disaster situation, he always goes above and beyond to make sure they are taken care of,” says Debbie Haduch, Director, Marinette/Menominee Branch Office. “He lets the clients know that not only is the Red Cross always there for them but so is he.”

Staff Spotlight: Dawn Krull; Health & Safety Services Director

 Next April Fool’s day everyone at the Red Cross will be laughing in celebration, but it won’t be over an April Fools joke.  It will be in honor of Dawn Krull, Director of Health and Safety Services, 30 years of service at the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter.  She has witnessed many changes over the years and tremendous growth in the Health and Safety Department. “I enjoy my job and what it represents,” said Krull, “That’s why I have stayed over the years.”P7310049

Krull was born and raised in Green Bay, WI. She received her degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and was hired right out of college for a newly created full time position at the Lakeland Chapter.

There are many aspects to Health and Safety Services but the main objectives, states Krull, “are to make people more comfortable in preparing and taking action in an emergency which can ultimately save lives. Our department also helps to generate revenue to support the services of the Red Cross. 
At first, the Health and Safety Services Department was just her but now there is a staff of four full-time associates and 16 part-time/on-call instructors and evaluators that keep the department running. Krull has many duties, but her main responsibility is to administer the goals of the department and promote the training programs. “Our Health and Safety Services staff is top notch,” says Krull.  “I’m really proud of the team we have right now.”

“One of the goals of Health and Safety Services is to train as many people in the life saving skills as we possibly can,” says Krull. For this reason she encourages quality customer service amongst her staff and volunteers. The department takes pride in good customer service that will ensure clients come back and tell others about the good experience. “How we treat our customers is of vital importance,” says Krull.

She is very knowledgeable about the program having grown with the department, but she also relies on the expertise of the staff and volunteers. That’s what the volunteers are for as “we are a volunteer organization.”

When she isn’t working hard at the Red Cross, this stepmother of three and grandmother of two is enjoying the outdoors with her husband, Randy. They like to snowmobile, bow and gun hunt, grouse hunt with their Vizsla dogs, Wyatt and Willow and fish. Dawn has event caught two muskies within the last two years, 43″ and 47″ — mighty impressive!
Together they remodeled their cottage up in Lakewood. “When there’s not something going on for us in town, we’re at the cottage.”