First Aid for Fido and Friskie

Pippa_CatDogFirstAid (002)

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month.  It’s the perfect time for pet lovers to take the American Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course and download the Pet First Aid App.

“All pet owners, pet-sitters and dog walkers should know what to do in an emergency until veterinary care is available,” said Deborah C. Mandell, VMD, DACVECC, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and professor at Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “The Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online course and the Pet First Aid App are both easy and convenient ways to learn life-saving skills.”

Take the course. People can access the course on their desktop or tablet at redcross.org/catdogfirstaid and go through the content at their own pace. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the course. Participants can stop and pick up where they left off if Fluffy needs a treat or it’s time to take Fido out to the dog park. The interactive course includes:

  • How to determine a pet’s normal vital signs so that owners can notice if there are any irregularities;
  • Step-by-step instructions and visual aids for what to do if a pet is choking, needs CPR, has a wound, or is having a seizure; and
  • Information on preventative care, health and tips for a pet’s well-being.

Download the app. The free Pet First Aid App provides instant access to expert guidance on how to maintain your pet’s health, what to do in emergencies, and how to include pets in your emergency preparedness plans.

Speedy_CatDogFirstAid (002)The app will also help cat and dog owners keep their pets safe by learning what emergency supplies to have, when they should contact their veterinarian, and where to find a pet care facility or pet-friendly hotel. Users learn how to assemble a pet first aid kit and an emergency kit. Owners have access to step-by-step instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common first aid and emergency situations including how to treat wounds, control bleeding, and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies.

The Pet First Aid App can be downloaded by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999, by going to redcross.org/apps, or by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Preparing Families for Emergencies

Most people believe that on the First Day of Christmas the appropriate gift to give is a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Well, the Red Cross believes in building Disaster Resilient Neighborhoods during the Holiday Season, as well throughout the year.

To help you select stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts designed to make individuals, families and the homes they live in as safe as possible, the Red Cross has put together the following recommendations for gifts for the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Smoke AlarmOn the First Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a SMOKE ALARM. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home; outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall, at the top of open stairways and at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen. It is important to check your Smoke Alarms every month and replace their batteries when Daylight Savings Time begins in the spring and ends in the fall.

CO2On the Second Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a CARBON MONOXIDE (CO2) ALARM. Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be placed in hallways throughout the home. They should also be placed in recreational vehicles and on boats.

 

Fire ExtinguishersOn the Third Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a FIRE EXTINGUISHER. Install A-B-C type Fire Extinguishers in the home and teach all household members how to use them.

 

Fire Escape LadderOn the Fourth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you install a FIRE ESCAPE LADDER. Homes with more than one floor should have at least one Fire Escape Ladder stored on all floors, other than ground level. Store these ladders where they are easily accessible.

 

Disaster Supplies KitOn the Fifth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a FAMILY DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT. A family will cope best by preparing for a disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by assembling a Family Disaster Supplies Kit. Once disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop and search for supplies.

Pet Supplies KitOn the Sixth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you assemble a PET SUPPLIES KIT. Pets enrich the lives of individuals and families in more ways than you can count. In turn they depend on people for their safety and well-being. Having a Pet Disaster Supplies Kit is one of the best ways to care for pets when disaster strikes.

NWSOn the Seventh Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you acquire a WEATHER RADIO. As the voice of the National Weather Service, a Weather Radio provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information directly from a National Weather Service Forecast Office. During severe weather routine broadcasting is interrupted and special watch and warning messages are issued.

First AidOn the Eighth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you get a FIRST AID KIT. Because the first five minutes of a medical emergency are critical, every individual and family should have First Aid Kits in their home and vehicles (including boats).

 

CPROn the Ninth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you attend FIRST AID AND CPR TRAINING. For more than a century, the Red Cross has been saving lives with Health and Safety Services education programs. A unique idea for a Christmas stocking would be a Gift Certificate for a First Aid and CPR Training course.

House Numbers aOn the Tenth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you purchase HOUSE NUMBERS. Each home should have its number posted clearly on the front door, over the doorway, or elsewhere on the front so emergency responders can easily locate it. Lives and property can be saved simply by using adequate house numbers placed where emergency workers can find them. You can purchase numbers at your local hardware store.

Flash LightOn the Eleventh Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you purchase a FLASHLIGHT. As simple as a Flashlight is, it can become a very important tool to use during and after a disaster. Every family disaster supplies kit should contain a flashlight and spare batteries.

PhoneOn the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the Red Cross recommends that you create an EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION PLAN. Each home should have a list of Emergency Phone Numbers posted near the phone or in the front of a phone book. 

 

For additional information on these and other safety tips visit:

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/7-fire-safety-tips-for-holiday-decorating-and-entertaining

 

Protecting every member of your family with your 72-hour kit

FamilyThere is nothing more frustrating (or hilarious, depending on how you view it) than going through your 72-hour kit and seeing a huge pack of newborn diapers intended to fit your 15-month-old toddler.

That teensy, tiny diaper simply isn’t going to cut it.

If you are the parent or care-giver to an infant or toddler, you will need to go through your 72-hour emergency kit quarterly to keep up with your ever growing child.

For those who haven’t built a 72-hour kit, yet, here are some items you will need in addition to your family’s regular kit:

  • 96 oz of water (about ¾ of a gallon) will cover a 72-hour span. Keep in mind, infants may drink up 32 oz a day when mixed with formula. If you are breastfeeding, keep more on hand for you to drink to in order to keep up your supply.
  • POWDERED Formula. Make sure that you have enough to cover the number of bottles and ounces that your baby drinks during the day, times three.
  • Bottles and nipples (make sure they are the right size of nipple for your child!) The more you have in your kit, the less washing and sterilizing you will have to do.
  • A large pack of diapers.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Diaper rash ointment.
  • Re-sealable gallon bags (for soiled clothes and diapers).
  • Clothing:
    • 3-5 onsies.
    • 3-5 footed pajamas.
    • 6-10 pairs of socks.
  • Burp cloths.
  • 3-5 receiving blankets.
  • 1-2 fleece (or heavier) blankets.
  • Toys, teething rings or other items to occupy attention.
  • Copy of Immunization Record in the family files.
  • Add to the first aid kit:
    • Teething gel.
    • Infant acetaminophen.
    • Infant ibuprofen.
    • Bulb syringe.
    • Hand sanitizer.

When you go through your kit (quarterly!) be sure to pay attention to your diaper sizes, clothing sizes, nipple sizes and amount of formula on hand (if needed).

Don’t forget about your pets! In the event of a disaster they will have supply needs as well. Here are some tips to keep your four-legged family members safe during a disaster:

  • Store extra food, water, bowls, litter box, medicine, first aid supplies and health records for each animal with your 72-hour kit.
  • Leashes and pet carriers should be together and accessible.
  • Before disaster strikes, identify pet-friendly places to stay within a 50-mile radius. Keep your pet with you if at all possible during a disaster.
  • Have current health/vaccination records, proof of ownership and brand or microchip identification.

To ensure that all members of your family are safe during a disaster, download the Red Cross First Aid apps available for people or pets. For more information on building a 72-hour kit, check out redcross.org!