Photo of the Day: finding the perfect fit

Shannon Scully-Pratt, a Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Representative in Ontario, shared this photo with us of a recent shopping trip she went on with her young niece for lifejackets. Here, they are trying on lifejackets to find the perfect fit.

When selecting a lifejacket, it’s important to choose one based on your size and activity. There are lots of tips and info on how to pick the perfect lifjeacket on our website.

And remember – lifejackets only work if you wear them. So, don’t forget to wear yours this summer while out on the water and stay safe!

Keeping hydrated? Reward yourself with some chocolate

Beat the heat tip: for every glass of water you drink, reward yourself with a piece of chocolate.

Staying hydrated is very important for people living in Central Canada this week. This part of the country is being slammed with a heat wave, with temperatures expected to soar to 40C or more with the humidex.

By staying hydrated, you can help avoid heat related health emergencies such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As a general rule, for every 2lbs of body weight, you need one fluid ounce of water. Based on this formula, a person weighing 128lb should drink eight average-sized glasses of water per day. In very hot weather, consumption should be increased. Even if you are inside, you should still drink water throughout the day.

How can make sure that you are staying hydrated? Here are a few tips:

  1. Use a visual – I love this idea from fitsugar.com. First, determine how many glasses of water you need to drink each day. Then put the same number of treats (this is where the chocolate comes in – I like chocolate pieces) in a bowl on your desk at work. Each time you finish a glass of water, give yourself a treat! Not only do you remind yourself to drink water, but you get a reward for doing so!
  2. Keep water on-hand and on standby– have a filled water bottle with you, so you can take sips on the go or at your desk.
  3. Have water with meals have a glass of water before each meal and during to help you stay hydrated.
  4. Eat fruits and vegetables – there are plenty of foods that can help keep you hydrated. Here are some of our favourites.
  5. Stay clear of coffee and beer – caffeinated and alcoholic beverages may have water in them, but they have the opposite desired effect – they dehydrate you! It’s best to avoid drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in extreme heat.

For more tips on how to beat the heat, click here.

Are you a water safety star? Here are the results of our quiz!

Last week, we asked you to test your water knowledge by taking our water safety mini-quiz. Here are the answers! (Did you get them all right?)

1. You don’t have to wear a lifejacket while out on the water.  Having one close-by is good enough.

Answer: False. You might not have time to reach for your lifejacket during an emergency. Lifejackets are like seatbelts – they only work if you wear them.

2. People only drown in deep water.

Answer: False. A small child can drown in only a few inches of water, enough to cover their nose and mouth.

3. Adults should always supervise their kids when swimming or playing in and around water.

Answer: True. Parents should always actively supervise their kids – whether if they are in a pool or tub. If you have to leave the pool area or bathroom for any reason, take your child with you.

4. It’s ok to swim alone.

Answer: False. Even strong swimmers should always swim with a buddy.

5. You should avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming or boating.

Answer: True. Alcohol can impair your judgement and is a factor in many swimming and boating fatalities. Save your alcoholic beverages for when you’re not around water.

6. Backyard pools should be fenced on four sides (not including the house with a door access) and have self-closing, self-locking latches.

Answer: True. Having a fence can help prevent children from having unsupervised access to the pool.

7. Many, perhaps most, in-ground home pools are unsafe for diving even if they are fitted with a diving board.

Answer: True. Most in-ground pools aren’t deep enough for safe diving. It’s best not to dive into a backyard pool to avoid injury.

8. It can take several minutes for someone to drown.

Answer: False. Drowning can occur in less time than it takes to read this blog.

9. Every pool owner should have an action plan including adult supervision, an emergency signal, safety equipment and emergency procedures.

Answer: True. When it comes to your backyard pool, keep safety top-of-mind.

10. It’s never too late to learn how to swim.

Answer: True. The Canadian Red Cross offers swimming classes for various ages. To find out about classes in your area, visit http://www.redcross.ca/.

Is Bieber Fever an infectious disease?

Canadian pop superstar, Justin Bieber

Watch out for the “Bieber Fever”. It is more infectious than the measles, according to a new study.

Using mathematical models, researchers at the University of Ottawa found that “Bieber Fever” (when fans become hysterical over Canadian pop star/teen heartthrob Justin Bieber) is the most contagious disease of our time. Symptoms include uncontrollable crying and/or screaming, excessive purchasing of memorabilia, and distraction from every day life.

So, is urgent action needed to combat this disease? No, not really.

The researchers were using the pop star’s phenomenal growth in popularity as a stand-in to see how an actual infectious disease spreads around the world. For example: one of the researchers met some elementary students in Canada, and some master’s level students in Africa, and all of them had heard of Justin Bieber.

During health pandemics (such as SARS in Toronto in 2003), the Canadian Red Cross works with public health authorities to help vulnerable people. As well, the Red Cross helps communities to be prepared for any possible health emergencies.

Check out this video by the IFRC to see how you can protect yourself and your loved ones during a real health pandemic.

Are you a water safety star? Take our quiz!

June 3-9 is National Water Safety Week and we’re encouraging Canadians to stay safe around water this summer.

When it comes to water safety, show us that you know your stuff!  Take our mini-quiz below and provide your answers in the comments section.  We’ll post the answers to the quiz on the blog at the end of the week.

Answer True or False

  1. You don’t have to wear a lifejacket while out on the water.  Having one close-by is good enough.
  2. People only drown in deep water.
  3. Adults should always supervise their kids when swimming or playing in and around water.
  4. It’s ok to swim alone.
  5. You should avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming or boating.
  6. Backyard pools should be fenced on four sides  (not including the house with a door access) and have self-closing, self-locking latches.
  7. Many, perhaps most, in-ground home pools are unsafe for diving even if they are fitted with a diving board.
  8. It can take several minutes for someone to drown.
  9. Every pool owner should have an action plan including adult supervision, an emergency signal, safety equipment and emergency procedures.
  10. It’s never too late to learn how to swim.

Red Cross responds when Bieber Fever strikes Norway

Photo credit: Norwegian Red Cross

Red Crossers are ready to respond to any emergency. This was definitely the case in Norway last week, when Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber announced he was having a surprise concert in Oslo. 

The result was pandemonium in the city; a mad rush of thousands of fans left almost 80 people injured. Norwegian Red Cross volunteers were on the scene providing first aid to those who were hurt. They also gave out water to fans that had become dehydrated while waiting to see Bieber perform. 

You can see more photos of the Norwegian Red Cross in action on their Facebook page.

And if you are unfamiliar with Justin Bieber’s music, here’s his latest music video.

Images from the Thunder Bay floods

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The Canadian Red Cross is on the ground in Thunder Bay, helping to provide support and comfort to people affected by severe flooding that has affected approximately 1,500 homes. Working closely with community officials, Red Cross volunteers are going door-to-door to meet with families in those homes to determine what help they need.

Red Cross volunteers are also operating two shelters in the community. As well, an information post has been set up in the most heavily impacted part of the city, where people can receive information and assistance. So far, the post has been visited by hundreds of residents seeking help.

Approximately 84 trained Red Cross volunteers from across Canada are currently working on this response effort.

These photographs, by photographer and Red Cross volunteer, Johan Hallberg-Campbell, give a glimpse into how this disaster has impacted this Northern Ontario community and what the Red Cross is doing to help.

The Red Cross is currently accepting donations in support of relief efforts. For more info, or to make a donation online, click here.

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