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.
August 28, 2019- Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of the summer in Northeast Ohio, and with that comes a lot of traveling and social gatherings.
Whether you are planning to host family and friends for a cookout, enjoy a day of swimming at Edgewater Park Beach or driving to attend the Cleveland National Air Show, the American Red Cross has offered the following tips on how to safely enjoy the holiday.
Driving safety: When driving, make sure you are well rested and alert, wear your seat belts, follow the speed limit and rules of the road, make frequent stops, and don’t let your gas tank get low.
Pack a first aid kit and emergency preparedness kit in each vehicle.
If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.
Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
Use caution in work zones. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
Water safety: Be water smart. Make sure to have swimming skills and know how to help others.
Pay close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water.
Prevent unsupervised access to water with adequate barriers for pools and spas.
Learn swimming and water survival skills.
Children, inexperienced swimmers and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
Always swim with a buddy in a life-guarded area.
Barbecue safety: Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. You can also follow these steps:
Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
Never grill indoors — not in your house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
Here are a few other suggested steps to take ahead of Labor Day:
Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills so you’ll have the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency until help arrives. Take a class (redcross.org/takeaclass), download the free Red Cross First Aid app and open the Red Cross First Aid Skill for Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.
Go to redcross.org/watersafety for a variety of water safety resources and courses. Download the free Red Cross Swim app.
Give blood. The number of people donating blood often drops during the summer when people are on vacation and schools are closed. Visit redcrossblood.org, download the Red Cross Blood app, or enable the Red Cross Blood Skill for more information or to schedule your donation.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer