2007-04-27 / Columnists

Cross Currents

Celebrating Moms, Military Personnel And Their Families
CommentaryBy Joan Foley Director, American Red Cross Of Greater New York - Queens

CommentaryBy Joan Foley Director, American Red Cross Of Greater New York - Queens

JOAN A.FOLEY As a mom and now a grandmother, no day brings me more joy than celebrating Mother's Day with my immediate family. I also celebrate the joy of motherhood with my Red Cross family, which does so many good things for mothers, mothers-to-be and their families every day.

The birth of a child is filled with happiness and love. Your loving gesture to treat mom to a class about child safety shows that you deeply care for her and the new baby. It also will ensure that she - and dad - will know what to do should an emergency occur. Medical issues and missteps that can cause injuries are so much of every day life with babies and children. While we can't cover our children with a protective bubble, safety classes will prepare parents, guardians, grandparents and others to react properly when children most need our help.

Some of the classes we provide in our Queens office in Briarwood, or at our headquarters location in Manhattan, include standard first aid and child/ infant CPR. The Red Cross also offers a safe baby presentation class, babysitter's training for tweens and teens to give mom a break, and we even have a course for child care providers.

Here is some information about Red Cross classes:

CPR - Child and Infant: a valuable course for new and expectant mothers. Designed for childcare providers, teachers, parents and others who supervise children, this course provides the knowledge and confidence to recognize and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies for infants and children up to 12 years of age.

Safe Baby Presentation : For parents and family members who want to learn the skills that can save an infant's life, this orientation about infant (0-12 months) CPR addresses breathing and choking emergencies.

Babysitter's Training : If you're 11 to 15 years old, you can gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to care for infants and school-age children. Learn how to manage scrapes and bruises, handle emergencies, recognize hygiene issues, and confidently feed and diaper infants.

NY State Health & Safety Training for Child Care Providers : This approved 15-hour course fulfills the licensing requirement for all new child care providers.

Keeping In Touch With Military Personnel: On May 19, Armed Forces Day, we honor the men and women who do a wonderful job serving our country around the world. The Red Cross has a long history of assisting members of the military and their families, from delivering a little comfort to assisting a family during an emergency.

The Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services unit can verify emergency family situations and relay an emergency leave request, if necessary, to the proper military authorities. The Red Cross can not authorize military leave or an extension of leave for a military member, but it will provide the military with the details of the emergency to consider the leave request.

The Red Cross also provides access to interest-free loans or grants made available by the military aid society, if financial assistance is needed by the family. If a loved one is serving our country and you need some advice or assistance, please call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services unit at 888-737-4306.

Upcoming Classes: Class dates and times are subject to change. For more information about these and other Red Cross classes in Queens (138-02 Queens Boulevard in Briarwood), call ARC/GNY - Queens at 718-558-0053, or visit www.nyredcross.org.

Saturday, May 5, babysitter's training, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 10, CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) - Adult, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Saturday, May 19, CPR/AED- Adult, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Saturday, May 19, standard first aid, 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 24, CPR/AED - Adult, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Wednesday, May 30, standard first aid, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Upcoming Red Cross classes in Queens for professional rescuers (nurse, lifeguard, flight attendant, firefighter, law enforcement, EMS) include:

Wednesday, May 2, CPR/AED for the professional rescuer, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday, May 25, CPR/AED for the professional rescuer, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Watch For Flooding: Spring showers bring summer flowers, but when the rain is heavy or continues for a long time, flooding can occur, as we saw with the storm that recently rolled through our area. The Rockaways, as you know, is prone to flooding during coastal storms and hurricanes. Here are some tips to help you prepare for that next heavy rain or storm:

Stay out of any building if flood waters remain around the building. Flood waters often undermine foundations. Floors can crack or break and buildings can collapse.

Do not enter any building (home, business, or other) until local officials declare that it is safe. Buildings may have hidden damage, while gas leaks or electric and waterline damage can create additional problems.

Report broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will help the utilities turn off electric or gas as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury. Check with your utility company now about where broken lines should be reported.

Avoid smoking inside buildings. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires. When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Watch carefully every step you take.

Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. If water is of questionable purity, check with health officials on whether to boil, add a tiny amount of bleach, or distill drinking water before using.

Want to learn more about how to prepare, prevent and respond to flooding, or any emergency? Attend a Ready New York presentation. If you are a business, nonprofit or community organization, you can host a presentation for your employees or members.

Ready New York is a free event dedicated to preparing individuals and families for emergencies. Attendees receive an emergency preparedness presentation designed to teach New York City residents how to create a plan, build a supply kit, and keep loved ones safe and informed during times of disaster. Call us to learn more.

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