2008-06-20 / Columnists

Cross Currents

New Digs For Queens To Help Us Better Serve Residents, Businesses
CommentaryBy Joan Foley Director, American Red Cross Of Greater New York - Queens

JOAN A.FOLEY JOAN A.FOLEY On June 11, we officially rededicated our Queens location (138-02 Queens Boulevard in Briarwood). The new layout will allow the American Red Cross in Greater New York to better provide humanitarian care during fires and other emergencies, health and safety classes, and emergency preparedness programs and services for the residents and businesses of the borough.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony were a number of key elected officials whose support is crucial to our mission. Also joining us were various Queens-based businesses and organizations that partner with us every day.

Among the dignitaries were former New York City Major David Dinkins and Council Member John Liu. Representing the New York Mets, which is one of the leading organizations in the city to support our work, were pitcher Jose Feliciano and Mr. Met!

The new layout of the Queens office also now includes a retail store with American Red Cross safety and preparedness items such as emergency "go bags," first aid kits, crank (non-battery) radios and flashlights, and pet first aid kits. To celebrate all that is new with us, all safety products at the Queens Red Cross Store will be discounted 10 percent through July 11.

Upcoming Classes

Classes offered by the American Red Cross in Greater New York regularly are held at our Queens area office. Classes include first aid, CPR, pet first aid, babysitting skills and many others. For more information and to register, call 1-800-514-5103, or visit www. nyredcross.org.

Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill in minutes.

Drink plenty of water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you don't feel thirsty. Injury and death can occur from dehydration, which can happen quickly and unnoticed. Symptoms of dehydration are often confused with other causes. Your body needs water to keep cool. Water is the safest liquid to drink during heat emergencies.

Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body. People who are on fluidrestrictive diets or who have a problem with fluid retention should consult their doctor before increasing liquid intake.

Air conditioning provides the safest escape from extreme heat.

Plan to check on family, friends, and neighbors - especially the elderly - who do not have air conditioning or who spend much of their time alone.

Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors reflect heat and sunlight and help you maintain a normal body temperature. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body. Keep direct sunlight off your face by wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Sunlight can burn and warm the inner core of your body. Also use umbrellas and sunglasses to shield against the sun's rays.

Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more- even on cloudy days.

Eat small meals of carbohydrates, salads and fruit, and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, because they increase metabolic heat.

Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

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