Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Then and Now, Young Americans Support the Red Cross

It Began with Six Young Volunteers

In 1884, six children put on a play that raised $50 that they donated to the then three-year-old American Red Cross.  Red Cross founder Clara Barton used the money to aid a family affected by severe Midwestern floods.
Students became involved for the first time in a war effort in 1898, when they helped provide medical support and comfort to American soldiers and their families during and after the Spanish-American War.
The Junior Red Cross
World War I inspired an official organization for young people: the American Junior Red Cross. Students knit scarves, rolled bandages and built furniture for hospitals and convalescent homes.  They prepared and sent Friendship Boxes containing school and personal items to students overseas.  They worked in Victory Gardens (vegetable gardens that added to the nation's food supply) and raised funds.  In fact, Junior Red Cross members contributed an amazing $3,677,380 to the Red Cross during the war.  During World War II, Junior Red Cross membership grew to almost 20.

Today’s Youth and Young Adult Program
Thousands of civic-minded youth help us fulfill our humanitarian mission.  Local community clubs and Red Cross School Clubs provide opportunities for leadership development, community service and training in life-saving skills.
Young Red Cross volunteers and the work they accomplish are as diverse as the U.S. population.  They are:
n  middle school students educating fellow students about disaster preparedness;
n  high school students raising funds to vaccinate children in third-world countries;
n  athletes organizing blood drives on college campuses; and
n  they are nursing students training to serve in community disaster shelters.

Every day, youth make a difference in their community through their work with the American Red Cross.  Join our efforts.
To find out how you can become a young humanitarian working with the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley American Red Cross, contact Angela Russell at (802) 660-9130, ext. 107 or

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Get the Better of the Flu

No one wants to be laid out on the couch or in bed with the flu.  However, with widespread influenza being reported in just about every state, including Vermont, beating the flu is getting to be more of a challenge.

Follow this link for an article on Tips to Avoid the Flu.

A couple of quick things you will want to remember are:

1.  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use – don’t store it in your pocket and find it next winter. And remember: you have an elbow to sneeze or cough into if tissues aren’t available.

2.  Kill germs – wash your hands. No soap and water? Grab some hand sanitizer and go to town.

3.  Don’t touch your eyes.

4.  It’s tough, but try to avoid sick people.  

5.  Sick? Stay home and prevent others from getting sick. Your co-workers will high-five you upon your healthy return.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Frostbite and Hypothermia

Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening. Preventing cold-related emergencies includes not starting an activity in, on, or around cold water unless you know you can get help quickly in an emergency. Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat. Take frequent breaks from the cold. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold. Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear.

Frostbite is the freezing of a specific body part such as fingers, toes, the nose or earlobes.

Signals of frostbite include:
1. lack of feeling in the affected area;
2. skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue).

What to do for frostbite:
1. Move the person to a warm place.
2. Handle the area gently; never rub the affected area.
3. Warm gently by soaking the affected area in warm water (100–105 degrees F) until it appears red and feels warm.
4. Loosely bandage the area with dry, sterile dressings.
5. If the person’s fingers or toes are frostbitten, place dry, sterile gauze between them to keep them separated.
6. Avoid breaking any blisters.
7. Do not allow the affected area to refreeze.
8. Seek professional medical care as soon as possible.

Hypothermia is another cold-related emergencies.  Hypothermia may quickly become life threatening. Hypothermia is caused by the cooling of the body caused by the failure of the body’s warming system. The goals of first aid are to restore normal body temperature and to care for any conditions while waiting for EMS personnel.

Signals of hypothermia include:
1. shivering, numbness, glassy stare;
2. apathy, weakness, impaired judgment;
3. loss of consciousness.

What to do for hypothermia:
1. CALL 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
2. Gently move the person to a warm place.
3. Monitor breathing and circulation.
4. Give rescue breathing and CPR if needed.
5. Remove any wet clothing and dry the person.
6. Warm the person slowly by wrapping in blankets or by putting dry clothing on the person. Hot water bottles and chemical hot packs may be used when first wrapped in a towel or blanket before applying. Do not warm the person too quickly, such as by immersing him or her in warm water. Rapid warming may cause dangerous heart arrhythmias. Warm the core first (trunk, abdomen), not the extremities (hands, feet). This is important to mention because most people will try to warm hands and feet first and that can cause shock.