People across the nation are planning grand ways to say goodbye to summer.
Before packing up and heading out to the lake or the pool one last time, the Wabash Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is asking everyone to take a moment to make sure they have a safe time.
"With summer ending and school starting, people have a lot of planning going on right now," said Sue Seyfert, Wabash Valley Chapter Health and Safety Director. "We don't want people to ever forget that their safety -- and that of their loved ones -- has to be their No. 1 priority."
Among the concerns travelers need to watch for this holiday are crowded road ways. AAA estimates the recent drop in gas prices means some 29.6 million people will be driving to their vacation destination.
Whether they are sticking close to home or off on an excursion, remember accidents can often be avoided through careful preparation. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:
-- Keep a kit within reach. There should always be a first aid kit in the home, by the pool, packed with beach gear and in the car. To make sure the kit has all the necessities, log on to the American Red Cross Health and Safety Services page at www.redcross.org/services/hss/lifeline/f....
-- Is the car ready? Don't wait for a rattle or a warning light to find out the car isn't up for a trip. Be sure to have brake, tires, oil and fluids checked before taking to the roadways.
-- Don't keep plans private. It's important to share travel plans with family and friends. Let them know dates and location. Always share contact numbers in case of emergency.
-- Play is safe under the sun. The sun is just as hot on Labor Day as it was on July 4, so take the same precautions. Always wear sunscreen when outdoors. Make sure all wear hats to shield direct sunlight. Keep enough water or juice to drink throughout the day. Drink fluids when thirsty.
-- Enjoy water the safe way. Now is not the time to forget about the rules of water safety. Remember, never swim alone, only swim in supervised areas, enter water feet first, and don't mix alcohol with swimming or boating.
Whether plans include hiking, camping, going to the water park or a backyard barbecue, the Red Cross has tips on how to enjoy holiday safety.
Learn more on safety tips by logging onto the organization's website at www.redcross.org.
For more information, call the Wabash Valley Chapter Putnam County Unit at 653-4614.
The American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter is dedicated to respond to emergencies throughout Clay, Greene, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties.