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Local Red Cross shares tips for a happy holiday season

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 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.

    The Red Cross offers life saving CPR and other classes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.clarksville.redcross.org.  You can never go wrong when you give a gift that can help keep someone safe.

The Red Cross Ready-To-Go Emergency Preparedness Kit is the latest sensation for the safety savvy.  The Ready-To-Go Kit comes with many of the necessary items you may need during an emergency.  With the breakaway first aid kit and personal supplies pack, the Ready-To-Go Kit makes a smart gift for everyone on your list.

You will find lots of great gifts for everyone on your list on the Red Cross online store. The store stocks the perfect stocking stuffers like Safety Tubes and the new Vintage-Style first aid kits. The tubes and kits come with easily accessible items

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Red Cross chapter is the perfect place to go for other unique gift this season.  For the parents or grandparents on your list, give them an Infant/Child Safety gift. The gift could include a Red Cross “First Aid and Emergency Preparedness Quick Reference Guide”, family first aid kit and gift certificate to attend Infant/Child CPR classes. There is even gifts for pet owners, too!

For more safety tips and gift giving ideas, contact Patricia Brown at 931-645-6401 or visit www.clarksville.redcross.org

The Clarksvlile Montgomery County Chapter of the American Red Cross is located at 585 S. Riverside Drive.

About the Author:  Patricia “Trish” Brown is health/safety director of the local Red Cross chapter. The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.


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