The Labor Day holiday is here and many of us will take to the highway for the “last” weekend of summer, perhaps to a pool, the beach, or the great outdoors. The American Red Cross wants you to enjoy your holiday and stay safe by following these 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
- 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.
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: