Like most Canadians, I am itching to ditch the cold and lie on a beach somewhere. I’m searching for travel deals and getting insider tips on the best places to go. I’m also making sure I can enjoy my whole vacation and get back in one piece! I’m a Red Crosser so ‘safety first’ is one of our unspoken mottos. Here are a few things to remember if you’re looking to head south like me.
Survive the Ocean
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Alcohol plus swimming in the ocean equals a terrible and dangerous idea. Don’t do it!
- Obey the signs and signals (like flags) posted on the beach. They are there for a reason.
- Lifejackets are our friend but only work if you are wearing them properly.
- If you get caught in a riptide:
- Don’t panic. Try floating for a bit if you need a rest.
- Swim parallel to the shore until you no longer feel like you are being pulled out to sea.
- Then swim in to the beach at a diagonal, away from your original location, so you don’t swim back into the current.
- Wear light, loose clothing and a hat.
- Wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
- Relax in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
- If you DO overheat, try to cool down as quickly as possible. A cold shower can really help.
Basic First Aid
There is no substitute for taking a first-aid class. In an emergency, you should call trained medical professionals. Check out our free first-aid app for additional tips.
- Put pressure on the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood.
- Wash the wound only if it is minor. If it bleeds heavily, washing the wound could interfere with the clotting agents.
- If the bleeding is severe get to a hospital.
- Insect Stings & Bites:
- Remove the stinger with tweezers or by scraping it away with a flat surface, such as a credit card.
- Wash wound with soap and water, cover with a dressing and then apply ice or a cold pack.
- Call the local emergency number if the person seems to be having an allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Signs include a rash, itchiness, swelling on hands, feet or face or a slowed breathing.
- Jellyfish stings? Download our free first aid app to learn what you should do.
- Strains and sprains:
- Remember RICE: Rest, Immobilize, Cold, Elevate.
I hope you have a great time on YOUR hot vacation! Stay safe and have fun!