It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Time to let food, revelry, presents and merriment meld into another happy holiday. And while you are preparing holiday memories that will last forever, the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids wants you to keep in mind – the best holiday is a safe holiday.
It’s easy to plan a happy and safe holiday when you use these Red Cross tips as your guide:
- Be a lifesaver during the holidays and always. The Red Cross recommends at least one person in every household should be trained and certified in first aid and CPR/AED. Your local Red Cross chapter has conveniently scheduled courses; and can have you trained and certified in a few hours.
- Don’t move a muscle until they buckle. Each person in your vehicle should have their seatbelts securely fastened before driving off. Ensure children are buckled up and their car seats are installed appropriately based on their age and size. Children 12 and under should always sit in the backseat.
- Make sure your sitter’s safe. Babysitters are at a premium during the holidays but you still want to make sure you are leaving your little ones in capable hands. Look for a sitter that is Red Cross certified. Red Cross sitters are trained in basic care, how to spot an emergency, safe play, first aid and some are certified in CPR. If your favorite sitter is not Red Cross trained, there is still time before the office party. Consider giving her or him a gift certificate to a course as an early present. Your local Red Cross will be holding three training sessions on December 13, 22 and 23.
- Be the life of the party and designate a driver. When you designate a sober driver you help make sure a good party isn’t marred by tragedy. A good host ensures there are non-alcoholic beverages available for drivers. The designated driver should not drink any alcoholic beverages, not even one.
- Declare the kitchen a safety zone. Keep the kitchen off-limits to children while cooking. Turn pot handles inside and keep hot pans away from counter edges. Help prevent choking by making sure children don’t walk, run, play or talk with food in their mouths.
- Remember “five-and-five” for choking. If the person is conscious and cannot cough, speak or breathe, ask them if they are choking and if you can help them. Once you have consent to help, remember, give them “five-and-five”. Lean the person forward and give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades. If the object does not dislodge give five quick abdominal thrusts. Continue the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts until the person can breathe or cough forcefully, the object is dislodged or the person becomes unconscious. If the person becomes unconscious call 9-1-1 or local emergency number right away. For more information on the new five-and-five procedure for choking, contact your local Red Cross chapter at (616) 456-8661.
- Unwrap it then trash it. Once the gifts are unwrapped, immediately discard all plastic wrappings, rubber bands and small objects children and pets can put in their mouth and choke on.
If you are looking for easy gift giving ideas, everything you need is just a click away when you visit www.redcross.org/store. You can never go wrong when you give a gift that can help keep someone safe.
For more safety tips and gift giving ideas, contact the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids at (616) 456-8661 or visit www.greatergrandrapids.redcross.org.