WICHITA, Kan., June 30, 2011 – Because the Fourth of July brings time around the water and peak summer heat, Red Cross wants residents of south-central Kansas to make sure the holiday weekend is nothing but fun. By recognizing water-safety basics and dangers of high heat, south-central Kansans can ensure the only surprise this weekend will be who wins the cannon ball competition.
Since 1922, Red Cross has been an advocate for water safety. Last year, it trained nearly 55,000 people about the importance of CPR, first aid, water safety and lifeguarding. To ensure families stay safe around the water, Red Cross recommends taking the following steps:
Prevent unsupervised access to water and maintain constant supervision. If you have a large portable pool, treat it like an above-ground pool. Remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use. Install pool barriers. Empty and store smaller pools immediately after use.
Set and enforce rules. Nobody is “drownproof,” and the buddy system should always be used. Unknown or shallow water should always be entered feet first, and water wings or inflatable toys are no substitute for U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
Know what to do in an emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Make sure you are trained in CPR/AED and first aid so you know what to do in an emergency.
As families prepare to be outside accompanied by temperatures of more than100°, they should pay attention to warning signs during extreme heat. Heat-related emergencies can be avoided by staying diligent with the following tips:
Keep your body cool. Postpone strenuous activities during the hottest time of the day or take frequent breaks if you must work outside. Stay cool by wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Listen to your body. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all real possibilities during times of intense heat. Cramps, followed by dizziness, followed by changes in consciousness are elevating signs of a body’s struggle with high temperatures. Move the person to a cooler place, and if loss of consciousness occurs, then call 911.
“Independence Day is a time to celebrate the things that make our country great,” said Bev Morlan, regional executive director for the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter. “We just don’t want that celebration to be short-lived.”
About the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter:
Founded in 1915, the Midway-Kansas Chapter prevents, prepares for and responds to emergencies in Sedgwick, Sumner, Harper, Harvey, Kingman and Cowley counties. It provides its community with Disaster Response and Planning, Service to Armed Forces, CPR and First Aid Training, Emergency Financial Assistance, Senior Medical Transportation and the Good Neighbor Nutrition Program. In the past year, the Midway-Kansas Chapter helped 91,740 people. For more information on how you can change a life, starting with your own, call (316) 219-4000 or visit midwaykansas.redcross.org.