East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Red Cross: Fourth of July Safety Tips

July 4, 2015, 6:46 AM HST
* Updated July 4, 6:47 AM
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As the Independence Day holiday gets underway, Hawai’i’s chapter of the American Red Cross has come up with a list of 10 items that those enjoying their time at the beach or in the water should keep in mind.

  1. If someone plans to swim in the ocean, they should always check weather conditions before going in the water.
  2. Swim only at a lifeguard protected beach within the designated swimming area, and listen to all lifeguard instructions.
  3. Always swim with a buddy and always swim sober.
  4. Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  5. Everyone should enter the water feet first if they can’t see the bottom or don’t know how deep the water is.
  6. Be aware of the danger of rip currents. If caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. When free, turn and swim toward shore. If unable to swim to the shore, call out for help, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  7. Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.
  8. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
  9. Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.
  10. Wear beach shoes. The sand is hot and can burn someone’s feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

“The 4th of July weekend is always a great time for gatherings with loves ones at the beach. We want beachgoers to know how to stay out of harm’s way and really enjoy their holiday,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawai’i Red Cross.

In addition to the tips, the Hawai’i Red Cross reminds the public of the free swim and first aid applications available for smartphones. The Swim app provides water safety and drowning prevention information. Child-friendly videos and quizzes are also in the app to provide children with an informative learning experience. The First Aid App provides everyday emergency advice at your fingertips.

Both apps can be downloaded by visiting the Red Cross app website. The Swim app is also available in the Amazon Kindle Store.

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