After the hard winter, we all appreciate the beautiful summer weather- even the heat! However, it’s important to remember that the kids, senior citizens and pets in our care are highly susceptible to dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. These uncomfortable- even fatal- conditions can be avoided with a little planning and common sense.
Here are 4 ways to avoid a heat-related tragedy this summer:
- NEVER leave a child, senior or pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked or down. According to the National Weather Service, on an 80 degree day, it can heat up to 99 degrees inside your car in just 10 minutes, and 123 degrees in one hour. Keep everyone in the family safe by checking the back seat before you leave your car to be sure no one is left behind.
- Dress for the weather. Make sure the kids and seniors in your care wear light-colored, lightweight, loosely fitting clothing to help keep them cool. Skip pet clothing during the summer (yes, that superhero cape is cute, but it can easily cause Fido to become overheated!).
- Choose comfort over your pocketbook. Take advantage of air conditioning if you have it at home. A slightly higher electric bill is well worth avoiding heatstroke. If you don’t have air conditioning, head to a place that does- you can support local businesses while staying cool!
- Know the warning signs. Dizziness, headache, breathing problems, rapid heartbeat, fainting and muscle cramps can indicate heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
If you have loved ones who live alone and may be at risk of heat-related conditions, check in on them regularly. For more summer heat safety tips for kids, seniors and pets, visit the National Weather Service website.