Red Cross offers tips to help you have a great, safe summer


As we all head outside to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather this summer, the American Red Cross of Oklahoma has steps you can follow to help stay safe.

“Here in Kansas, many of us enjoy spending time outdoors with loved ones as we garden, grill or get in the water,” said Alice Townsend, Regional CEO. “The Red Cross wants you to avoid any danger no matter what your plans include and offers steps you can follow to have a safe summer.”

Visit for more information.


Whether camping or just enjoying the outdoors, follow these tips:

• Pack a first aid kit.

• Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR course and download the First Aid app.

• Bring nutritious food items and water, light-weight clothing to layer and supplies for any pets.

• There is a greater chance of getting bitten by mosquitoes and ticks outdoors Use insect repellents containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) when you are outdoors. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

• Consider staying indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

• When hiking in woods and fields, stay in the middle of trails. Avoid underbrush and tall grass.

• Inspect yourself carefully for insects or ticks after being outdoors or have someone else do it.

• If you have pets that go outdoors, spray with repellent made for their breed/type. Apply the repellent according to the label and check your pet for ticks often.

• Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying sources of standing water outside of the home, such as from flowerpots, buckets and barrels.


Summer is a great time to get outside for a picnic or to fire up the grill. Follow these tips to prevent illness and keep everyone safe:

• Wash your hands, utensils and workstation before preparing the food.

• Separate uncooked meats, poultry and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and desserts. Use separate plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.

• Use a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.

• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

• Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

• Never grill indoors.

• Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.

• Keep away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.

• Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

• Wash your hands before preparing the food.

• Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.


Drowning can happen quickly and silently. Unless rescued, it could take as little as 20 to 60 seconds for a drowning person to submerge.

• Learn to be safe, make good choices, learn to swim and know how to handle emergencies.

• Swim in an area with lifeguards. Designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.

• Wear your life jacket.

• Reach or throw, don’t go! In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.

• Swimming classes are available for both children and adults. Visit for a map of Learn-to-Swim providers in your community.

• Download the Red Cross Swim app for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course in English or Spanish.

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission.

For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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