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The upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend is the unofficial start of summer when all of us will begin enjoying the outdoors and sunshine. But this year’s summer fun will look much different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

“The South Carolina summer is finally on the way after a very difficult few months. Many of us will take advantage of the warm weather by grilling out and cooling off in the pool or at the beach,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional CEO. “However, we must remember that we are in an unprecedented time dealing with the coronavirus and precautions must be taken to make sure you and your family stay safe.”

 

SAFETY IN PUBLIC

  1. Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
  2. Wear cloth face coverings, especially in crowded areas. Do not place them on children under the age of 2. 
  3. Reduce the number of places you go and your exposure to other people. 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF WATER SAFETY

Many public pools and beaches may be closed this summer. Follow the guidance of state and local officials. Make sure the area is designated for swimming. Once there, maintain social distancing, both in and out of the water, between you and people who don’t live with you. If you don’t think your child can do this, come up with another activity.

  1. Wear face coverings on land, especially when physical social distancing in difficult. Do not wear them in the water as it may be difficult to breath.
  2. Don’t share goggles, nose clips, snorkels or other personal items.
  3. A kiddie or inflatable pool can be a great way to have fun, but be sure to provide constant supervision to children in and around the water
  4. Adults should actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. Kids should follow the rules.

 

BEACH SAFETY

  1. If you plan to swim in the ocean, a lake or river, be aware that swimming in these environments is different than swimming in a pool. Be sure you have the skills for these environments.
  2. Make sure you swim sober and that you always swim with a buddy. Know your limitations and make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore. 
  3. Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life. 
  4. If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore. 

 

GRILLING SAFETY

 

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent or any enclosed area. 
  3. Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.  

 

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life. 

HELP SAVE LIVES THIS SUMMER Give blood, platelets or plasma—we’re all in this together! Visit redcrossblood.org for more information or to schedule your donation.

 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.  The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/SC or @RedCrossSC