People are currently at high risk of becoming critically injured during the peaceful protests due to the extreme retaliation of the police. To ensure the safety of one and others, here is a list of steps to take as precautions during the protests.
1. Wear a Mask
With the current pandemic the world is facing, masks not only lower the possibilities in catching COVID-19, but they as well come in use as barriers to prevent toxins of tear gas from entering the body. A gas mask or a mask with a filter on it would provide proper protection during the protests .
“Breathing in tear gas can cause irritation of your nose, throat and lungs. People with preexisting respiratory conditions have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms such as respiratory failure,”According to Healthline.
Masks also help out in protecting identities. Many protestors’ lives can be put at risk because people can lose their jobs or worse if their faces are not being blurred out in pictures and videos.
2. Carry an umbrella
Recently, a lot of American protestors have become inspired by the protests that occurred in Hong Kong because of the way they protected themselves with umbrellas against the police at front lines. Known as the Umbrella Movement, it has sparked a new wave of safety ideas for the protests here in America.
Umbrellas are now being used as shields by Americans, specifically against the tear gas and pepper spray used aggressively by the police.
3. Watch for eye safety
When we are put in a situation where we must take cover, we must always make sure our eyes stay protected. Many eye related incidents have occurred during the past week at the protests. Safety goggles can be used to prevent injuries from incoming rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray. It is recommended to leave contact lenses at home as well.
“Fine particles in tear gas get embedded in the contact lens, making it 10x more painful,” According to Diopter Eyes Clinic’s Instagram.
Milk, water and saline water are great solutions to neutralize the tear gas from the eyes.
4. Create protest signs
Protest signs are meant to convey a strong and unique message towards those watching from outside the movement. They draw attention and allow protestors to be seen and heard on more levels.
When making a protest sign, choose a sturdy material like a foam board for the sign so that it will last longer than just a piece of paper. These protest signs can be used as another form to keep cover from the tear gas depending on the size of the poster.
5. Stay hydrated and healthy
Remember to stay hydrated out there! Make sure to bring enough water for yourself and for others as well. Water can be used as a tool to help wash out tear gas or pepper spray that might have gotten into someone’s eyes or on their skin.
Bring small snacks that are filling enough to sustain you throughout the day, such as protein bars and granola bars. Drink an energy drink as a booster to stay alert during the day.
6. Pack a first aid kit
First aid kits contain everything needed to help treat a wound momentarily. Make sure the first aid kit carries Band-Aids, gauzes, antibacterial ointment, saline water, gloves and tape. During these protests, anything can be expected and it is best to come prepared regardless.
“When you have a first aid kit within easy access of wherever you are you will ensure the safety of everyone. First aid can reduce infections from open wounds and injuries. It can also reduce the severity of an injury,” according to SafteyED.
7. Portable charger
Portable chargers are life savers. Our phones are our biggest tools today, we rely on our devices a lot. The outcomes during a protest can never be predicted, our phones may die and we can be left stranded, or worse.
Cell Phones may be the only evidence we have if we encounter the police during an arrest, so it is extremely important that we make sure our phones do not die.