We heart this member Susan, was moved to write this post when she witnessed two almost incidents in parking lots on the same day. Animals, the young, the elderly and the infirm really do need some special attention during hot weather. Perhaps you have heard the sad story of the Robin Starr, the CEO of the Richmond, Virginia’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who accidentally left her 16-year-old dog in her car. Poor Louie died of kidney failure. This awful tale made us realize could happen to anyone. A miscommunication, too many distractions, a lapse in judgment during the warmest months can have tragic consequences. So pay extra attention to your surroundings during this latest heat wave and brush up on Susan’s sensible ways for dealing with the heat…
It seems every year I see tragic stories on the news of people leaving children or pets in the car. Or, even worse, elderly people trapped in closed homes with no air conditioning or fans. Or updates on the latest influx of heat stroke and dehydration victims at local hospitals.
Often studies find these accidents rise because of outside distractions during the summer months. During the warm weather season simple distractions, like weekend picnic plans, upcoming vacations or just getting through the day in the oppressive heat often distracts people and they forget to stay safe. Keep the tips below in mind to have an Emergency Room-free and happy rest of your summer.
Remember the people at HIGH RISK for heat related problems:
• People with jobs that require physical exertion
• Infants and young children
• Animals and pets
• People with medical conditions like diabetes, respiratory problems, heart disease, obesity and alcoholism
Ways to stay cool:
Go to a cool place. Consider going to an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place that will be cool. Go to a neighbor, friend or relative’s house that has air conditioning.
Stay in the shade. Direct sunlight can speed up the effect that heat has on your body. Do outdoor activities in the morning or evening hours, avoid being in the afternoon heat.
Stay hydrated. Keep drinking plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Make sure your children drink water and don’t forget even if you are at the pool and in the water, it doesn’t mean that you can’t quickly become dehydrated!
Take showers. A cool shower or bath is a great way to stay cool and much more effective than using an electric fan.
Limit physical activity. Take breaks during the day. Take a break if you are feeling dizzy, your heart is pounding or breathing becomes difficult.
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. If you are outside, don’t forget to wear a hat or carry an umbrella to protect your head and neck.
Wear sunscreen. Protect your skin and reduce the risk of sunburn. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself.
And be sure to think of others too:
Please, Please, Please do not leave animals or children in parked cars. Even on a relatively mild 85-degree day in the shade, with the windows cracked, the temperature inside the car will reach 120 degrees in minutes. A dog or cat’s body temperature is approximately 101 – 102 degrees. They can only withstand the heat a short time before it becomes a life or death situation.
If you live near an elderly person check on them often during the day, and even offer to take them to a cool place. No air conditioning, closed windows and no air circulating in a home is very dangerous, similar to sitting in a parked car.
It is easy to become distracted, however please take the time to ensure you, your family and your pets are safe.