Well, it’s a Hot One. Learn How to Beat the Heat!

With high, high Northeast Ohio temperatures expected this week, it’s important that you keep three key things in mind to beat the heat: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed.

Stay Cool

Here are a few ways to keep your body temperature cool to avoid heat-related illness.

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Find an air-conditioned shelter.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Check on those most at-risk twice a day.

Stay Hydrated

Your body may sweat more in these temps, which means you will be losing fluids.

  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Encourage others (especially those at risk like people 65 and older, pregnant women and children) to drink enough water.

Stay Informed

Download the free Red Cross First Aid app to learn more about how to treat heat related illnesses. Here are a few of the warning signs:

Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.

  • Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Lightly stretch the affected muscle and gently massage the area.
  • Give an electrolyte-containing fluid, such as a commercial sports drink, fruit juice or milk. Water may also be given. Do not give the person salt tablets.
Heat exhaustion is a more severe condition than heat cramps. Heat exhaustion often affects athletes, firefighters, construction workers and factory workers. It also affects those wearing heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment.
  • Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment with circulating air. Remove or loosen as much clothing as possible and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fanning or spraying the person with water also can help. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of a cool fluid such as a commercial sports drink or fruit juice to restore fluids and electrolytes. Milk or water may also be given. Give about 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes.
  • If the person’s condition does not improve or if he or she refuses water, has a change in consciousness, or vomits, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that usually occurs by ignoring the signals of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body systems are overwhelmed by heat and begin to stop functioning.
  • Signs of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; vomiting; and seizures.
  • Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
  • Preferred method: Rapidly cool the body by immersing the person up to the neck in cold water, if possible OR douse or spray the person with cold water.
  • Sponge the person with ice water-doused towels over the entire body, frequently rotating the cold, wet towels.
  • Cover the person with bags of ice.
  • If you are not able to measure and monitor the person’s temperature, apply rapid cooling methods for 20 minutes or until the person’s condition improves.

For more information on at-risk populations, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/

Red Cross partners with TeamSmile at Progressive Field Event

On July 15, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio partnered with TeamSmile to present the Pillowcase Project to nearly 300 children. The event, organized by TeamSmile, featured a group of local dentists, hygienists and educators who volunteered their time and talents to provide free dental care to underserved children during the one-day event at Progressive Field.

The children were moved through stations that included a preliminary exam, x-rays, cleaning and other work deemed necessary. While waiting for their turn in a dentistry chair, each child had the opportunity to learn more about being prepared for a disaster through the Red Cross Pillowcase Project.

“The ability to partner with TeamSmile presented the perfect opportunity to give back to our community by teaching the children who participated in the program how to be prepared for an emergency,” said Steve Trisler, Regional Disaster Officer for Northeast Ohio.

The Red Cross Pillowcase Project, sponsored by Disney, is a preparedness initiative created for children ages 7 to 11. It teaches the basics of how to stay safe during an emergency, what to have in an emergency kit and how to cope during an emergency. The program is fully customizable to the region; in Northeast Ohio the Red Cross teaches children about home fire safety, tornado safety, flooding safety and winter weather safety. At the end of the course each child is given a pillowcase and the opportunity to illustrate their own emergency kit needs.

TeamSmile is the nation’s premier oral health advocacy group. They partner with sports organizations across the nation to promote the message that oral health care is vitally important to long-term health.

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A beautiful day for a round of good-cause golf!

The sun was shining bright for this year’s Red Cross Cup golf outing! Over 100 Red Cross supporters came out to golf at Canterbury Golf Club’s historic 18-hole course on Monday, June 22 and to compete for the Red Cross Cup.

The Red Cross Cup is an annual event and has been hosted at Canterbury for the past five years. This year the outing was sponsored by Home Savings and chaired by Laura Hauser.

Golfers played the course either competitively or as a scramble. Jack Coyne came in first for the competitive category with Chick Dolciato, Matt Dolciato, Rick Dolciato, and Rocco Dolciato from Utilities Construction placing first in the scramble category.

During the outing, golfers were treated to guest appearances from Jimmy Hanlin, host of “18 Holes with Jimmy Hanlin”, and Ashley Collins, a freelance host, reporter and producer for Fox Sports and SportsTime Ohio.

Ending the day was a reception and silent auction, which featured exclusive items, such as signed Ohio State memorabilia and Cavalier’s floor seats. The silent auction raised an additional $5,000 to benefit the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio.

Thank you again to all who supported the Red Cross fundraising efforts by participating in the outing! Your support allows us to continue fulfilling our mission in Northeast Ohio.

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Fourth of July Safety Tips: Celebrate Independence Day Safely

This Fourth of July weekend, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks, so we wanted to offer a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend!

HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of Northeast Ohioans will hit the road over the Fourth of July weekend. (Auto club AAA estimates that 41.9 million Americans will travel over the weekend, the most in eight years!) Here are five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

  1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
  2. Do not drink and drive.
  3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
  4. Use caution in work zones.
  5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

4th of July Firework SafetyFIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. But if sparklers are part of your Independence Day tradition, here are five safety steps for people using novelty fireworks (the only fireworks which are legal for home use in the state of Ohio) at home:

  1. Never give novelty fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting novelty fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one novelty firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  5. Never throw or point a novelty firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. 

Grill Safety Tips

GRILLING SAFETY Ah! The Red, White and Blue Backyard Barbecue!! But did you know that every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills? Here are five steps to safely cook up treats for your Independence Day feast:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

JUST IN CASE: WHY NOT BE SAFE AND DOWNLOAD THE FREE FIRST AID APP – The Red Cross has a free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at their fingertips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

Happy AND SAFE Fourth of July, everyone!

Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

The long, hot days of summer can bring dangerously high temperatures. summer sunExcessive heat has caused more deaths than any other extreme weather in recent years. Do you know how to keep your family safe in a heat wave?

The Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe when it’s hot outside.

HOT CARS CAN BE DEADLY Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or the free Red Cross Emergency App. The app also gives users the option to receive alerts for excessive heat watches, warnings and heat advisories. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for more information.

Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Volunteers Celebrated at Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition

Volunteers are the body and soul of Red Cross. They graciously commit their time and energy to provide services and awareness to their communities. On June 9th, the Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter celebrated some amazing volunteers at the Chapter’s annual meeting and volunteer recognition.

The theme of this year’s meeting was “Right in Your Own Backyard”, signifying that despite any changes that have taken place over the past year the Red Cross continues to serve each community in Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties — right in your backyard. To highlight this sentiment, the room was decorated like a backyard picnic! Attendees were treated to pulled bar-b-q pork, baked beans, pasta salad, lemonade, and a strawberry shortcake station for desert.

During the meeting, five volunteers were recognized by Rachel D’Attoma, Executive Director, for their outstanding dedication and achievements. Jim Reed was recognized for his achievements in the Chapter and Transportation Services. Bruce Foster was recognized for his work in the Services to the Armed Forces. David Riegler was recognized for his dedication in Disaster Cycle Services. Beata Bogyor was recognized for her continued support in Preparedness Health and Safety Services. And Bev Krizay was recognized for her work in Blood Services.

The meeting also included the induction of new board members who will start their three-year term this July. The members include, Jason Roche, Justin Markey, Patrick Stobb, Kim Kline, Cindy Johnson, Pam Williams, Mary Link, Mona Sarkar, Assistant Chief Charlie Brown, Ann Otto, Michele Siudak, Willis Walker, Todd Peetz, Jack McCabe, Vicky Snyder, Eric Shaffer, and Kim Rice.

If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer please visit Volunteer or call 216-431-3328.

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Stand with Us, Celebrate Red Cross Giving Day

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The American Red Cross is launching its first Giving Day on June 2, asking everyone in Northeast Ohio to make a donation to the Red Cross at to help ensure that help is available wherever and whenever people need it.

Life can change in one day, leaving someone with nothing – without a home, without their belongings, without hope. For so many of these people, the American Red Cross is the answer. We need the public’s support.

Red Cross Giving Day is a 24-hour national fundraising campaign supporting the work of the Red Cross in communities across the country each and every day. The theme of Giving Day is “All In One Day” because the Red Cross is “all in” every day, helping people to get back on their feet.

On June 2nd, we have 24 hours to turn compassion into action. On this one day, please donate to the Red Cross so we can be there to help people in need.

To take part in Giving Day and support the work of the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org/givingday. All in one day, working together, we can bring help and hope to people when they need it most.

Each day in communities across the country and around the world, the Red Cross comforts disaster victims, supplies blood to patients in need, supports members of the military and teaches people lifesaving skills. Nationally, the Red Cross:

  • Responds nearly 200 times a day to help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster.
  • Provides nearly 5,600 blood transfusions a day to patients in need.
  • Gives 15,500 people a day lifesaving health and safety training.
  • Provides nearly 1,000 services a day to military members, their families and veterans.
  • With the help of partners, gives 308,000 children a day measles or rubella vaccinations.