Friday, July 10, 2015

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - July 2015

Anyone who’s lived in Tennessee knows our summer months can be very hot and humid, and that means trips to the pool are an absolute.  Before you suit up, remember to make pool and sun safety a priority for you and your loved ones. The Red Cross has some tips that will help to ensure you can have a fun and SAFE summer.

HOME POOL SAFETY The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:

•    Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
•    Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
•    Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
•    Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
•    Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
•    Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
Additional water safety tips are in the free Red Cross Swim App and available here.

SUN PROTECTION Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply your sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight. And don’t forget your feet! The sand can burn your feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke:

•  Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place.
•  Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person.
•  Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

FIRST AID APP Another thing you can do is download the free Red Cross First Aid App which provides expert advice for everyday emergencies. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to

I encourage everyone to download the Swim app as it is fun for kids and adults alike.  And of course the First Aid app is a must.  You will find yourself using it sooner than you think…especially with summer here. 

Have a safe and fun summer!

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