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    Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tips from Tennessee Red Cross

    The following is a press release:

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

    “Here in Tennessee many of us enjoy spending time outdoors with loved ones as we visit the pool or lake, host a barbecue, or take our furry friends to the park,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive of the American Red Cross, Tennessee Region. “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.

    WATER SAFETY 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.
    • Provide constant, active adult supervision and know how to swim.
    • 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.

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

    • 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 the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
    • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

    PET SAFETY Summer’s heat can be dangerous for your family pets. Follow these steps to take to help ensure your pet stays safe this summer.

    • Don’t leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees even with the windows cracked open.
    • Animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the boxer or bulldog, are especially prone to heat stroke, along with overweight pets, those with extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea.
    • Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are heavy panting, being unable to calm down, even when lying down, brick red gum color, fast pulse rate and being unable to get up.
    • If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees
    • Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage. Download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for instant access on how to treat heat stroke, other emergencies and general care for cats and dogs and take the Cat and Dog First Aid Online Training course.

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