Summer Safety: Red Cross Issues Tips On How to Have a Safe Summer

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


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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sick stomach? Keep the person hydrated and take a medication made specifically for someone with tummy woes.
  • 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.

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.

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 A variety of First Aid kits and emergency supplies are available at

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

Still Time to Help Save Lives This Summer: Choose Your Day

Every day this summer is a chance to do something life changing and momentous. The American Red Cross urges you to #ChooseYourDay to give blood or platelets and ensure a stable supply for patients in need.


Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer months when busy summer schedules and vacation plans can cause some donors to be less available to give. Additionally, blood donations at high school and college blood drives, which account for as much as 20 percent of blood donations during the school year, decline when many schools are out of session. But, the need for blood remains constant all summer long.

By choosing your day to schedule a blood or platelet donation through the American Red Cross this summer, you could give hope to a patient in need. Each day, the Red Cross needs 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

There are 2,376 hours for summer fun between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It only takes an hour – two if you’re giving platelets – to be a lifesaver. So, when you’re making your summer plans this year, make a blood or platelet donation appointment a part of them too.

To find a donation opportunity near you, download the Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.


Be the One Who Makes a Difference – Get Your CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification

At the American Red Cross, training people how to respond to and prepare for emergencies is our core mission. We offer a range of health and safety classes that teach you new skills, keep you knowledgeable, confident and ready to respond in almost any emergency situation.

With courses to cover all key areas of training, available online and in classrooms across the country, Red Cross classes deliver the training you seek, when, where and how you need it.

Click on the links below for more details on classes for the month of May-June 2016

American Red Cross Cabarrus County May-June 2016

Asheville Chapter Training Room May-June 2016

Catawba Valley Chapter May-June 2016

Elizabeth H. Dole Chapter May-June 2016 (11)

Gaston County ARC May-June 2016

Gaston County Chapter May-June 2016

Greater Carolinas Chapter May-June 2016 (1)

Greater High Point-Davidson chapter May-June 2016

Greensboro Chapter May-June 2016 (4)

Henderson County Chapter Training Room May-June 2016


Union County Chapter May-June 2016 2016:

“A Bittersweet Birthday”

Birthdays are the one day a year dedicated to us. It’s a day that makes us feel special and important, allowing us to celebrate another year in a lifetime’s worth of memories. Unfortunately for Joe, his day was marked by a tragic memory that changed his life forever.

Monday May 9th, the day before his birthday, Joe had spent the night at a friend’s home bringing in the celebration. He awoke Tuesday morning to numerous birthday texts from loved ones. Suddenly the messages rapidly changed from “Happy Birthday” to “Are you ok?” Joe didn’t understand the messages he was receiving from his neighbors until a fatal call from his landlord came in saying there had been a fire.

Joe arrived to his home, only to find a concrete shell, and everything inside was turned to ash. Joe is an artist and a massage therapist. All of his canvases, supplies, and artwork were gone. His massage table and supplies were gone –  everything was gone.

IMG_0492Joe and MosesCropped

Joe was devastated. It was his birthday, and everything he owned was destroyed. How could he recover from losing everything? His whole life lost in an instant.

A miracle in the midst of tragedy came to him in the form of the Red Cross.  It was the support and comfort Joe needed to pull through this traumatic day. With no place to live and only the clothes on his back, the Red Cross delivered Joe from his nightmare by helping him get back on his feet.

“The Red Cross is absolutely wonderful! They were here to help me out. That is exactly what I needed today. I don’t know what I would do without their support. Because of the Red Cross, I now have a place to stay and I can now get clothes to wear. They gave me a reason to feel hopeful moving forward.”

Like with Joe’s story, there is no way to predict when a crisis will happen. The Red Cross Disaster Team is ready to respond at any hour of the day or night. Join us as we give hope to those who’ve been affected by home fires.

A Harsh Lesson in Water Safety

Verrückt-Water-Slide-5.pngAs the summer months approach, the importance of swimming safety is imperative because it only takes a few quick seconds to realize the dangers that unsafe swimming may present. As a Red Cross volunteer my own near-death summer experience with swimming comes to mind because the scare that I gave my mother is hard to forget. What seemed like an innocent opportunity to beat the heat, almost turned into a day of terror for me and my mom.  It was the month of June and sweltering heat led everybody, including my mom and I to the water park. As an eager and sweaty 12-year-old, it was a mission for me to drag my mom around to find the best and not exactly the safest, way to cool off.  After passing by all of the “kiddy pools”, there it was the tallest water slide in the park with about a 50ft drop into a 10ft deep pool. “No Yei”, my mom said with fear on her face. Despite my mother’s warning, without hesitation, I jumped in line and waited for what I thought was going to be the best ride of my life. By the time I reached the top of the slide the fear began to seep in and the ride attendant must have noticed the uncertainty on my face because he turned to me and said “You’ll be fine” as he snapped on my life vest. I took two steps forward and there I was, looking down at a 50ft long, white, watery slide. I braced myself and took the leap. Screaming all the way down the slide as the water pounded me in the face I started to think that it wasn’t that bad until I was met by 10ft of pool water.  I plunged in so deep it seemed like I was at the bottom of the pool and that’s when I began to panic. It felt like the water was starting to fill my lungs as I flung my arms and legs violently trying to make my way back up to the surface. What was only about 10 seconds seemed like a whole hour before lifeguards finally realized they needed to jump in and save me. Thankfully, I did not endure any injuries and I was able breathe just fine. However the experience was still a frightening one and must have also been one for my mother who had tears in her eyes as she received me from the lifeguards. “Don’t ever do that again”, she said and she didn’t have anything to worry about because I did not intend on challenging my safety ever again! Though I survived the outcome of my risky decision, others might not have been so lucky which is why the American Red Cross is placing enormous importance on water safety for children as well as adults this summer. Memorial Day is upon us so follow us this week as the American Red Cross provides expert advice on how to be safe in the water, prevent drowning, and give tips to parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim.


Give the Gift of Life by Donating Platelets

Platelets are often referred to as “Liquid Gold.” The blood component is shiny yellow, always in demand – and for patients who need them – priceless.

Some donors have made it their mission to help save lives through the American Red Cross by giving platelets. Donors like John Betzen, are committed to doing their part to help patients in need with a dedication that never wavers. Betzen has already reached a major milestone of giving more than 520 blood and platelet donations.

For more than 45 years, Betzen has rolled up a sleeve knowing his donations are helping someone. In August 2011, that someone could have been his granddaughter Sarah. She was born with many complications, including an abnormal opening in her diaphragm. Over several months, Sarah needed surgeries to survive, as well as blood and platelet transfusions.

“Our family is very grateful to those donors who donated their platelets and blood,” said Betzen. “This is not something you can go to the store and purchase. We are certain it helped save Sarah’s life.”

The Precious Gift of Platelets

Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by those who are extremely ill such as cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients. Unlike whole blood, which can be safely donated every 56 days, platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year.

“By donating platelets more people can be helped, because you can donate more frequently,” said Betzen. “It makes me feel good to help fill the need.”

Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation. It’s important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible to help ensure this potentially lifesaving blood product is available for patients whenever and wherever needed.

Schedule an Appointment to Give

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood or platelets. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.