Near Tragedy Strengthens Cross Family

Story written by Barbara Behling, Communications Officer

Arlena.Tasha.Taylor Cross after Swim lessons

(l-r) Arlena, Tasha and Taylor Cross in front of the pool where they take their lessons.

For the Cross family, a few hours at the Riverside High School Pool each week provides water safety skills for sisters Taylor (12) and Arlena (11) Cross.  While mother Tasha Cross sat on the stadium benches, she shared how important swimming lessons are.  “I don’t want my girls to miss out on life – from pool parties, to trips to a lake. I want them to be safe. Safe, like I’ve never felt!” she explained.

While living in North Carolina a few years earlier, the backyard pool should have been relaxing and peaceful. But instead, she notes, “I was afraid of the water; we wore life-jackets all the time, even when it was 100°.”  At a Florida resorts’ extremely large pool, the girls were swimming, splashing and having fun, while drifting in to the deep end. All the while they were getting farther and farther away from me & my husband. We didn’t even see one go under the water and not surface.  When trying to help, the second girl was pulled under by the first. A swimmer close-by pulled them up. They were so scared! They didn’t tell us what happened! At the annual school physical a week later, they complained of ear aches.  The doctor explained their type of injury is from rapid submersion. The girls broke down crying. It was then — their near-drowning experience — was heard.

“We were so close to a terrible ending and I don’t want them to be afraid of the water like their mother,” she concluded. So each week, they travel to the Riverside High School pool for lessons. Throughout the 8-session course, the girls are growing more confident in the water, swim strokes are turning their slender bodies into water machines and their initial fear is growing into love of water.

Every day an average of 10 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning – with 20 percent of them 14 years old or younger, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and sixth for people of all ages. In addition, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Red Cross swimming lessons help people develop skills and water safety behaviors that help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water. The Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs.

To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for American Red Cross swimming and water safety programs.

Help Provide Swimming Lessons to those in Need!

CLICK HERE to participate in this GROUPON DEAL: $10 Donation to the American Red Cross

m6040248_241x164-learn-to-swimThe Issue: Lack of Swimming Skills

Every day, an average of 10 people die from unintentional drowning in the U.S.—two of those being children aged 14 or younger. For every child who dies from drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, another five received emergency care from water-related incidents. A 2014 Red Cross survey found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, only 56 percent are self-described swimmers and 33 percent of African American respondents can perform all of the five basic swimming skills that are needed to be competent in the water.

The Campaign: Teaching Children to Swim

All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by the American Red Cross to support the Aquatics Centennial Campaign, a new initiative to cut the drowning rate by 50% in 50 cities in the next 3 to 5 years. For every $10 raised, the organization can help provide a swimming lessons for one child or adult from an at-risk community.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Red Cross’s water safety education program. To celebrate, through its Centennial Campaign, the organization aims to teach 50,000 more people in these cities how to swim and respond to emergency situations. The program targets families in high-risk areas, and includes teaching parents how to perform CPR as well as equipping older teens and young adults with the skills to become lifeguards and swim instructors. People are also encouraged to download the free Red Cross Swim App to track their or their children’s swim progress and learn about water safety with videos and quizzes.

In A Nutshell: 

Donations help prevent drowning accidents during the summer by providing swimming lessons for children in underserved communities

The Fine Print

100% of donations go directly to American Red Cross. Donations are automatically applied. See Grassroots FAQs that apply to this campaign. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Download the Red Cross Swim App!

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Learn more about water safety, including simple steps you can take to help ensure the safety of your family in a variety of environments, such as home pools and the ocean.

TEXT ‘SWIM’ to 90999 or download from the Apple App StoreGoogle Play or Amazon Marketplace.

Red Cross Issues Tips to Keep You Safe This 4th of July

 Throughout the Fourth of July week, many people will be traveling, firing-up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks, and the American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday.

FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:

1. Never give 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 fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook treats for the backyard barbecue:

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.

signsHIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways throughout the Fourth of July week. The Red Cross offers 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 theheadlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE FIRST AID APP  PHSS_FIrstAid_IMGv1-JH

The Red Cross has a free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July!

New Advanced Child Care Training for Older Sitters and Nannies

advanced child careThe American Red Cross is now offering Advanced Child Care Training, a course for people 16-years and older who are or plan to become nannies, sought-after babysitters or who are caring for kids for the first time in a residential setting.

“Parents often have a tough time finding good child care, and the Red Cross makes it easier to spot the best sitters,” said Sara Weier, Health & Safety Program Manager. “The new Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training course helps people become the best sitter they can by teaching exactly what to do in emergencies and typical child care situations.”

Parents value a well-trained sitter, as more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills, according to a 2012 Red Cross survey. The course is also a good option for grandparents and other relatives who might want a child care refresher before watching young children.

Currently, the Advanced Child Care Training class is scheduled for:

  • Thursday, May 29th American Red Cross office, 1302. E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton; 9am-4pm

To sign-up please click here.

This Red Cross course enables people to learn while having fun by blending tried-and-true information with digital learning techniques. Participants will learn the most common child care routines and behavior along with safety inside and outside of the house. The course also includes Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED training and certification.

Other features of the training include:

  • 24/7 access to the self-paced, online training portion
  • Hands-on skills training and assessment
  • A resource center with downloadable skill sheets on child care subjects, lesson summaries, fact sheets, templates for résumés and business cards, administrative forms and age‐appropriate activity ideas.

People who would like to sign up for the program should visit redcross.org/childcare for more information. The course is eight and a half hours and costs $129. It combines two hours of self-paced online learning and six and a half hours of in-person training and skills testing. Upon completion, course takes will receive a two-year certification in both Advanced Child Care Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.

Advanced Child Care Training is not a licensing program and does not meet all state requirements for childcare centers or daycare providers.

Red Cross Wants to Recognize Nurses During National Nurses Week

Nursing Week

National Nurses Week is May 6 – 12 and the American Red Cross is joining the celebration, recognizing the important contributions of its nurses.

This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Nurses: Leading the Way” to recognize nurses as leaders at the bedside, in the boardroom, throughout communities and in the halls of government. For more than 130 years, nurses have been an important part of the mission of the Red Cross, providing assistance during times of disaster and conflict.

Today, nurses provide a health perspective for the Red Cross, serving across all lines of service. Across the country, nurses serve in management and supervisory roles at Red Cross chapter and blood service regions, many in executive positions. Nurses hold leadership roles as Regional, State and Division Nurse Leaders and as members of the Red Cross national Board of Governors as well as board members on the local level.

Throughout the past week, professionally licensed nurses who double as trained Red Cross responders  have been deployed to southern states ravaged by tornadoes and floods. Plus, they serve locally at residential fires to community events.

Red Cross nurses make a difference. Would you like to be part of their proud tradition of dedicated service? Join the more than 15,000 Red Cross nurses who respond to disasters, teach health and safety classes, help members of the military and their families and assist at Red Cross blood drives. You too can be a Red Cross Nurse. For more information, visit www.redcross.org.

American Red Cross Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training is available at six locations. The course provides skills to start a new career in the health care industry. Students learn in a hands-on environment under the eyes of caring and professional nurses, bolstered by a nationally developed Red Cross curriculum that is approved by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  Scholarships and enrollment details are available at www.redcross.org/winat.

FREE! FREE! FREE!

Now that we have your attention! Let’s get trained in life-saving skills thanks to our Sheboygan County United Way partnership! All residents can receive free health & safety training. That’s right, from babysitting skills to first aid to even how to perform CPR or use an AED!  No strings attached! You just have to live in Sheboygan County, register (first registered basis) and attend the class by June 30, 2014.

9753338-standardClasses being hosted locally include:

  • Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED
  • *Adult First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Adult CPR/AED
  • CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
  • Babysitter’s Training – designed for youth ages 11-13.

Classes are available at the Red Cross building at 2032 Erie Avenue, Sheboygan. For a complete list of courses descriptions, times, requirements, please go to www.redcross.org/Take-a-class.

You can also register by calling 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) and press Option 3.  You must provide the Coupon Code of UWSHEBOYGAN0614 for the course to be complimentary.

If your organization, group or club wants to train a group of people at the same time, please contact terry.roe@redcross.orgor by calling 715-590-4495.

Would you know what to do in this situation?  Click HERE to read this life-saving story!

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7 Steps to Prevent the Flu

TRUE or FALSE?
The flu virus spreads from person-to-person in droplets of coughs or sneezes.
m13740217_FluSeason

Answer is: TRUE!
The virus can also spread if a person touches droplets on another person or object and then touches their own mouth or nose before washing their hands.

The most important step someone can take is to get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older.
Follow these 7 steps to help prevent the spread of the flu virus:
1.     Stay home if sick.
2.     Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
3.     Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If that’s not possible, cough or sneeze into the elbow, not the hands. People with the flu can spread it to others about six feet away through coughs and sneezes.
4.     Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
5.     Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
6.     Disinfect surfaces used commonly such as door knobs, switches, phones, computers & remote controls.
7.     If someone has the flu they should avoid contact with others as much as possible.

DO I HAVE THE FLU? The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (more common in children). If someone thinks they have the flu, their health-care provider should be consulted. Someone should seek medical care immediately if they develop any of the following symptoms:m8740094_167x82-flu-grey

  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults).
  • Confusion or sudden dizziness.
  • Not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
    • Children – not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting. Fever with a rash. No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal.

Information on what to do if someone has the flu is available as part of the free Red Cross First Aid mobile app available for iPhone and Android devices.You can find more information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected by visiting redcross.org/FluTips.

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