Join us for the 100 Days of Summer!

redcross_100daysSummer is the season we’ve all been waiting for. It’s 100 days of high dives, ball games and barbecues. It’s 100 ways to dress a burger, catch some shade, or get out of town. It’s 100 chances to clear the calendar, and choose your day to give. As your summer calendar fills up, consider making time to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross!

The Red Cross is clearing its calendar for what’’s most important – saving lives! We invite you to join us as we count down the 100 chances to give hope this summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Click here to read amazing stories, participate in promotional giveaways and stay inspired all summer long! And be sure to stay connected on social media with #ChooseYourDay.

Please click here to schedule your appointment to donate and save up to 3 lives.

Unable to donate? Click here to volunteer.

 

Red Cross Issues Tips to Stay Safe this Summer as Temperatures Rise

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Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

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Temperature can rise quickly as high as 19 degrees within 10 minutes.*

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN, PETS IN THE CAR, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

  • 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.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

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    Within 20 minutes, the temperature reaches to an unbearable 109 degrees.* (*Graphic Courtesy of General Motors and Golden Gate Weather Services)

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affectedby the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit redcross.org, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

Year of Death # Fatalities
2000 1
2002 8
2003 9
2004 4
2005 12
2006 10
2007 5
2008 1
2009 8
2010 9
2011 5
2012 24

(From Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Note: Numbers in table are totals of directly and indirectly-related heat fatalities. If heat was the primary cause of death it is a directly related heat death. If heat was a secondary or contributing cause of death it is an indirectly related heat death.

American Red Cross Survey Finds People Unclear about How to Stay Safe in the Water

Most families plan to swim in areas without lifeguards this summer, but
lack basic water safety knowledge

(June 13, 2013) — Even though nearly two-thirds of families with small children plan on swimming in areas without lifeguards this summer, many people don’t know the right thing to do in water emergencies or how to keep their loved ones safe in the water, according to a new American Red Cross poll.

“People tend to spend more time in and around the water during the summer, so now is a great to review water safety precautions so you know what to do to stay safe,” said Patty Flowers, Regional Chapter Executive.

The Red Cross poll found 63 percent of families with children plan on swimming in an area without a lifeguard this summer. However, nearly half of those polled had never taken swimming lessons, with African-Americans (32 percent) less likely to have received formal training.

Nearly half of Americans say they have had an experience where they were afraid they would drown, according to the findings. Hispanics reported a higher percentage (66%) of having such an experience over Whites (46%). Overall, four in 10 (41%) say they know someone who was in danger of drowning, which is an increase of 16 percentage points from a similar 2009 Red Cross survey.

Two thirds (67%) of those asked mistakenly believe that putting inflatable arm bands, or “water wings,” on children is enough to keep them safe when an adult is not nearby. These are not lifesaving devices, and children and weak/inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets while remaining under constant adult supervision.

The survey findings show that people mistakenly believe some steps such as having a swimming buddy or flotation device will keep them safe. For example, while the Red Cross recommends that people always swim with a buddy in designated swimming areas supervised by lifeguards, buddies alone are not enough to keep swimmers safe.

Another concerning finding in the 2013 Red Cross survey was that most of those polled were unsure of the right steps to take when someone appears to be in distress in the water: More than nine in 10 (93%) people were unable to identify the correct order of actions to take to help a swimmer who may be in danger of drowning.

“The correct steps to take when you see a swimmer who needs help is to shout for help, reach or throw the person a rescue or flotation device and tell them to grab it; then call 9-1-1 if needed,” Flowers said. “People think that if a person isn’t calling out for help that they must be ok. However, they are likely using all their energy to just try to stay above water.”

“People think they should enter the water to save someone, but often this endangers the life of the rescuer,” she added.

 Other signs of a swimmer in trouble include:

  • Treading water and waving an arm
  • Doggie paddling with no forward progress
  • Hanging onto a safety line
  • Floating on their back and waving their arms
  • Arms extended side or front, pressing down for support, but making no forward progress
  • Positioned vertically in the water, but not kicking legs
  • Underwater for more than 30 seconds
  • Floating at surface, face-down, for more than 30 seconds

Red Cross swimming lessons help people develop skills and water safety behaviors that help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water. The Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs. To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for American Red Cross swimming programs.

An infographic highlighting survey results has been developed. People can find additional water safety information at redcross.org/watersafetytips.

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Survey details: Telephone survey of 1,011 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on April 11-14, 2013 conducted in ORC International’s CARAVAN® survey using a landline-cell dual-frame sampling design.  Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For comparison, this report includes findings from a 2009 Water Safety Poll–Telephone survey of  1,002 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on March 20-23, 2009 conducted by ORC International’s CARAVAN®. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95% confidence level.

 

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 join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

It’s Fishing & Boating Week: June 1st-9th.

By: PaKou Lee, Red Cross Volunteer

It’s that time of the year to pack your tackle box with the best lures and hooks. Bring your fishing pole and roll out the boat because it’s a week of celebrating fishing and boating. Don’t forget the sunscreen and safety rules!

It’s always an exciting adventure when it comes to fishing and boating. It brings families together and there’s happiness all around. People are soaking up the sun with their loved ones and enjoying their time off work.

One summer that I will never forget is the summer of 2002. I was 13 years old. A family friend named Mary took my brother, niece, two cousins, and me to Lake Mille Lac, MN. Lake Mille Lac is a popular tourism for family vacations. There are plenty of activities to choose from: shopping, fishing, camping, hiking, and more. It was about a 2-hour drive up north from my home in St. Paul. Mary’s family had cabins by the shore and was big into water skiing and tubing.

The first thing we all did when we arrived was swim. The weather was extremely hot, we jumped right into the lake to cool off. Of course, Mary always made sure we had tons of sunscreen on. My niece, Amy, and I also fed leftover bread to the fish on the dock while my brother, Tee, and cousins, Fong and Dennis, fished for them.

The adults brought out the boat, skis, and water tubes. I watched Fong and Dennis struggle with the skis; it was their first time. They went into the water before they even got the chance to stand up. I was too afraid to try so I took the easy route: water tubing. All I had to do was lay on the water tube and hold on tight, that I was able to do.

Amy and I rode on one water tube together. We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first time water tubing. We were so nervous that we squealed when the boat started to go. The speed increased and my adrenaline rush was filled with fear and exhilaration. I squinted most of the time because of the intense wind and pressure.  As the boat took a turn and slowed down, Amy and I let go and went flying in the air. It was quite amazing being in the air, but it quickly ended when we landed in the water. I landed pretty hard. What felt like 6-ft. deep, I was probably 3-ft. under the water. I was so scared I wasn’t going to reach the surface in time to get air. Of course, I had my life jacket on so I floated up fine. It was so much fun, Amy and I did it again one more time before we left for home.

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Amy (L) and me (R) water tubing.

Fortunately, it was a great summer with no accidents for us.  We wore life jackets to keep us safe, wore sunscreen to protect our skin, and stayed close to shore when swimming near by.

Here are some water safety tips to keep in mind when out celebrating this week: