NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans doctors and paramedics hope they only see you with a smile on your face this carnival season. They have some tips to help make that happen. But they are also prepared, just in case.
Dr. Emily Nichols, Director of New Orleans Emergency Medical Service, says that alcohol is often a contributing factor to the injuries of people along parade routes. She suggests that people drink one cup of water in between each alcoholic beverage.
The City of New Orleans is teaming up with the American Red Cross to operate seven first aid stations along the city’s parade routes. Last year, the first aid stations treated more than 800 people during the carnival season. Most injuries are cuts or bruises caused by flying beads or sprained ankles from the uneven ground. Here is a list of the locations for the first aid stations:
• St. Charles Avenue and Napoleon Avenue
• St. Charles Avenue and Washington Avenue
• St. Charles Avenue and Felicity Street
• The Circle
• St. Charles Avenue and Poydras Street
• St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street
• Orleans Avenue and N. Hennessy Street
• Orleans Avenue & Bienville Street
Nichols also has advice for parents who plan to bring their children to parades. She says parents should write their phone numbers down on a piece of paper and give it to their children to carry in a pocket or similar keeping spot.
“And then also make sure you take a picture of them so that, heaven for bid, they are separated from you, you know exactly what they are wearing that day and you can share this information with law-enforcement,” Nichols said.
This carnival season comes as there are growing concerns around the world about the coronavirus. NewOrleans’ medical team says that, because there have been no cases reported in Louisiana, they are not concerned about the virus. But hospitals around the city are prepared in the event they should have to deal with a case.
The bigger concern is for this year’s seasonal flu. Dr. Jennifer Avegno, Director of the New Orleans Health Department, says that there have already been 10,000 deaths from the seasonal flu and millions of cases around the country. She says the number of flu cases in New Orleans is also high. She suggests bringing hand sanitizer with you to parades.
“Please get your flu shot if you haven’t,” Avegno says. “If you are sick, you can miss this parade. It’s OK. There’s going to be another one. Don’t go out and infect other people.”
The first aid stations will be open starting one hour before every parade and will remain open until the crowd leaves, rain or shine.