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Memorial Day Weekend: Red Cross offers safety tips

Many people will spend the upcoming Memorial Day weekend taking a road trip, having their first picnic of the season or enjoying that first dip in the lake or pool. Follow these American Red Cross tips to stay safe.

Water Safety Tips
Drowning can happen quickly and silently. Unless rescued, it could take as little as 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning person to submerge.

  • Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids: follow the rules.
  • Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.
  • Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair – everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
  • Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.
  • Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.

Grilling Safety
Though more than three-quarters of U.S. adults have used a grill – yet, grilling sparks more than 10.000 home fires on average each year. To avoid this, the Red Cross offers these grilling safety tips:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors- not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the 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.
  • Never add charcoal-started fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
  • Don’t leave perishable food out in the sun.

Driving Safety

  • Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.
  • 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. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
  • Make frequents stops.
  • Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

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