3 Things To Do Before Fourth of July Weekend

We’re thinking ahead, and we hope you will, too, because we have three things for you to do before the Fourth of July weekend arrives. So, let’s get started…

One: Download the Red Cross First Aid App 

This free and helpful app for your smartphone gives you instant access to the most common first aid emergencies like cuts, burns, and eye injuries. The app is free. Download it now from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Or text GETFIRST to 90999.

Two: Brush Up On Fireworks Safety

Photo: Tony Webster, Portland, OR / Wikimedia Commons

The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show presented by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:

  1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Three: Prepare for Grilling Safely

Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July Weekend! 

Photo: Marko Kokic / American Red Cross


March is Red Cross Month: Lifesaving Awards

“I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the first President Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month in 1943

Every March we take extra care in celebrating the Red Cross mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

One way you can join this effort is search within your community and find everyday people to nominate for our national Lifesaving Awards.

Nominees are people who have used lifesaving skills, such as those learned in Red Cross CPR and First Aid classes.  On average each year, more than 9 million people in businesses, schools and communities take Red Cross health and safety classes. Many put those skills to use every day.

For example, on July 23, 2018, Meghan Knutson and Julian Meehl helped save the life of a young boy who was found unconscious in a pool at an aquatic center in Faribault, Minnesota. Together, they used their skills learned in Red Cross health and safety courses to save a boy until professional medical help arrived. Or take the story of Tom and Stewart: Why would you stop?

Issued by the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., your nominees could be recognized with one of three awards:

Certificate of Merit, which is for individuals and off- duty professional responders. This certificate will be signed by the sitting President of the United States, a custom that began in 1913.

Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, which is for Red Cross-trained professional responders and healthcare professionals acting while on duty.

Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action, which recognizes individuals and teams who are not Red Cross trained.

Nominate today to help and inspire others to learn important lifesaving skills that could save a life.

Post by Zabiba Sameru/American Red Cross

Ten Tips for Trick-or-Treat Safety on Halloween

halloween-clip-art-happy-halloween-clip-art-5We’re excited, and you might be too, that Halloween is just around the corner. To ensure Halloween is filled with fun for the trick-or-treaters in your life, review and share the safety tips below. And, download the American Red Cross First Aid App. It’s free and it gives you instant access to information about handling common first aid emergencies.

1. Use only flame-resistant costumes.

2. Plan the trick-or-treat route – make sure adults know where children are going.

3. Have a parent or responsible adult accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.

4. Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give them a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to help be seen.

5. Instead of masks which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, use face paint instead.

6. Be cautious around animals.

7. Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.

8. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.

9. Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

10. Drivers – use extra caution. The youngsters are excited and may forget to look both ways before crossing.

Have a happy Halloween!

Top ten reasons to learn how to save a heart

By Cassie Sage, an American Red Cross Intern in Minnesota

Valentine1_TWIt’s February, the month of love. A month that is centered on valentines and as we are out and about we see hearts and decorations everywhere we go. We are focused on loving the most important people in our lives and we go out and buy them chocolate and other Valentine’s Day inspired gifts.

Although Valentine’s Day is in February, it is also National Heart Month, which is quite fitting. It is a month that focuses on educating people on how to react and respond if a person suffers from a cardiac arrest. Every year more than 300,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest but when CPR is performed or an automated external defibrillator can help save the lives of victims.

The American Red Cross offers in person or in class training courses to the public and teaches people how to respond to sudden cardiac arrest, along with first and CPR. So in the spirit of love and hearts here are the Top Ten Reasons to take a CPR class:

  1. You are prepared in an emergency situation.
  2. If an emergency occurs and you perform CPR a person is three times more likely to survive.
  3. You are able to help save a loved one.
  4. You can help save someone else’s loved one.
  5. You become knowledgeable about something that is very important.
  6. CPR is a skill that cannot be learned online, the Red Cross offers in depth classes that will teach an invaluable skill.
  7. Out of 200,000 cardiac arrest deaths a year almost 50,000 are preventable. CPR will lessen this number.
  8. You can be confident that you will be prepared to help if an accident occurs.
  9. You will learn to use life-saving technology, such as an AED, which are available in almost all public places.
  10. This is a skill that can be valuable for a lifetime and you will never know when it will be useful, but when it is everyone will be glad you know CPR.

There are many other reasons why everyone should take a CPR class no matter what month it is. You may have your own personal reasons or stories as to why knowing CPR is important but lets all take the time to take care of everyone’s hearts.

Ready For The Deep Freeze?

THE COLD IS COMING! THE COLD IS COMING! THE COLD IS COMING! By now perhaps you’ve heard: we’re soon to have the coldest weather that we’ve had in Minnesota during the past FOUR years. Rather than FREAKING OUT (as some of us are doing), we asked Minnesota winter adventurer Linda Newman to provide us with tips for staying warm outside when it’s -512 degrees. (Okay, FREAK OUT person is exaggerating. How about BELOW ZERO? It probably feels the same.)

Linda Newman and Arrow, one of her sled dogs. Photo courtesy of Linda (and Arrow).
Linda Newman and Arrow, one of her sled dogs. Photo courtesy of Linda (and Arrow).

Cold weather tips from someone who knows (and is smart because she has fluffy warm dogs, too):

  1. Dress in warm layers. Be prepared. You can’t put on what you don’t have but you can take off a layer. Put a water and windproof outer layer over all under layers that is breathable.
  2. NO cotton. Cotton absorbs moisture and holds it close to your skin, keeping you damp and cold.
  3. Keep moving. Even boots rated for 100 below temperatures won’t keep your feet warm if you’re standing still for too long.
  4. No alcohol. Alcohol actually dehydrates you, making you cold.
  5. Stay hydrated. Keep a thermos handy filled with your favorite warm, non alcoholic beverage.
  6. Chemical foot warmers and hand warmers are your friends!
  7. Cold feet and hands. If you want to get warmth to your extremities, you must get the blood flowing to them. Clap your hands together. Make the motion of throwing a ball, rotating your arm from your shoulder, getting the blood directly to your hands. Stomp your feet.
  8. Having a hood with a ruff of some type does help keep your face warmer from wind.
  9. Windproof is the word. Fleece gloves without this feature are cold, cold, cold! A windproof neck gaiter is also so nice!
  10. Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re cold, go get warm. Frostbite is no fun.

Thank  you, Linda (and Arrow), for sharing your winter weather wisdom with us. We hope that you’re toasty warm during the coming days. Meanwhile, everyone can download the American Red Cross free mobile First Aid app and learn what to do in case of frostbite, hypothermia and other emergencies. (Now, back now to FREAKING OUT!)

Back Blows and Abominal Thrusts Save Lives

Red Cross honorees from left to right: Safia El Hmamsi, Kathryn Majkrzak, Jena Novak, Roberta Chie, Alisha Tomsen, and Donna Sanderson. Not pictured: David Kucera and Jenny Rassavon. Photo courtesy of Dakota Communities.

Have you choked on food? Ever needed a back blow to dislodge it? Well, we’re happy to report that if the folks around you when or if it happens are trained like those at Dakota Communities, then you’re likely to get help that could save your life.

Recently, we recognized eight Dakota Communities employees who quickly and adeptly used their Red Cross training to help people at their residences for adults with developmental disabilities who were choking, mostly on food objects. From sausage or cheese to a carrot or granola, the trained employees used back blows and in some cases abdominal thrusts to expel food matter from people who were choking. Such life-threatening emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. Go here to find a Red Cross class in your area and to learn life-saving skills.

And thank you Dakota Communities!

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