By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer
September 4, 2020- This year’s Labor Day plans may look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are staying home or venturing out, here are a few tips to enjoy the holiday weekend from the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Region.
First things first: make sure you follow the guidance of state and local public health officials with any activities you have planned. Whether it is a backyard barbeque or spending the day in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, make sure you know what the latest COVID-19 guidelines for the area are.
If you choose to hang out this weekend on Lake Erie, at the pool or on any of our Northern Ohio waterways, make sure to swim only in designated areas that are supervised by a lifeguard. Make sure to maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and anyone who doesn’t live with you.
- Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical distancing is difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breathe.
- Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels, equipment or other personal items.
- Make sure to wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating and have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear one around the water.
- A kiddie or inflatable pool can be a great alternative to going to a public place to enjoy the water. There should always be an adult supervising when children are in and around the pool. When swim time is over, make sure to drain the water from the pool and flip it over.
- Make sure to always supervise kids in or around water and avoid distractions. In group situations, designate a water watcher whose sole responsibility is to oversee the activity in the water until the next water watcher takes over.
While forecast for this weekend looks picture perfect, it’s always important to be mindful of the warm temperatures and the dangers that the summer sizzle can bring. Here are a few tips to always remember:
- Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach dangerous levels within minutes.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the sun’s rays, making you feel warmer.
- Keep your pets hydrated and cool too! Check on them frequently to make sure they are not suffering stress from the heat.
- Avoid strenuous exercise and activities during the hottest parts of the day when it’s hot out.
The American Red Cross First Aid app is a great resource to always have on your phone for information on how to treat heat emergencies.
Be sure to also take a virtual Be Red Cross Ready class to learn valuable preparedness information. Visit NOHRedCross.org/calendar for more information.