NAPOLEON, Ohio (WTVN) -- Summer is the peak season for demand for blood donations. Unfortunately it's also the time of year where the American Red Cross sees the fewest donations.

"Between vacations and people are just so busy with sporting events and running children to their events in the summer time that blood donation is just not the number one thing on their list," said Jeannie Detmer with the American Red Cross.

To donate, you need to be at least 17 years old and 110 pounds. 16 year olds can donate with a parent's permission. If you lived in the United Kingdom during the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease or have traveled to areas of the world with malaria problems you won't be able to donate. Blood borne illnesses like hepatitis and HIV will also disqualify you.

"Most people can give. They may not realize that they can. And they can give every 56 days," Detmer said.

One donor can save the life of three people, according to Detmer.

A fear of needles is one of the common aversions for many to donate, but Detmer says it need not be.

"We'll distract you while they do the stick. After you give you'd be surprised how many people say 'oh, well that wasn't so bad.' Their mind and what they're afraid of is worse than the actual donation time," she said.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)