Getting trained and downloading Red Cross First Aid and Emergency Apps make summer fun and travel easy

PRINCETON, NJ Millions of people are looking forward to having fun and traveling this summer and the American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe.

“Preparation and prevention are key components of summer safety,” said David Lewis, interim regional CEO, AmericanRed Cross New Jersey Region. “If an emergency occurs, people need to know what to do until advanced medical help arrives.”

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When traveling, it’s important to know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face. Sprains are the most common injury for someone on a cruise, along with contusions and other superficial wounds. Going to the mountains? Falls are the biggest threat, many due to poor decision-making, lack of skill or not being properly prepared. Dehydration is also a danger. People planning a camping trip face the same dangers.

WHAT TO DO IF:

  • Too long in the sun? Get out of the sun, cool the area and use topical pain relief medication if needed.
  • Blisters? Leave it alone to protect the area. If the blister may cause further injury, puncture at the base, clean and protect with another barrier such as a bandage.
  • Allergic reaction? Remove the person from the allergen; give them oral antihistamines if needed. If the situation is life-threatening, consider the use of epinephrine.
  • Mosquitoes biting? Ideally the first step is to prevent mosquito bites. If not, use an over-the-counter product to reduce the itch and urge to scratch.
  • Stung by a jellyfish? Wash liberally with vinegar as soon as possible for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar isn’t available, make a thick mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Sick stomach? Keep the person hydrated take a medication made specifically for someone with a sick stomach.

AVOID VACATION MISHAPS Vacationers should pack appropriate clothing, insect repellant, sunscreen and first aid items. Include soap, tweezers, wound gel, personal medication and items such as fever reducers, fungal creams and pain relievers.

DOWNLOAD APPS Download the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access on how to treat common emergencies as well as a hospital locator which is helpful for travelers. The Emergency App is a single ‘go-to’ source for weather alerts and safety tips for everything from a power outage, to a severe thunderstorm, to a hurricane. All Red Cross apps can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ or by going to redcross.org/apps.

TAKE A CLASS Prepare for the unexpected with First Aid/CPR/AED training. Training can give people the skills and confidence to act in an emergency and to save a life. Red Cross offers a variety of online, blended (online content with in-class skills session) and instructor-led classroom training options. Register at redcross.org/takeaclass. A variety of First Aid kits and emergency supplies are available at redcrossstore.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at@RedCross.

About the American Red Cross in New Jersey 
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Crosstrains and mobilizes more than 5,800 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey, last year, the Red Cross responded to 889 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping 1,820 displaced families; collected 88,439 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided 3,920 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 117,088 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. Follow us on Twitter@NJRedCross.