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HAPPENINGS: Taking care of your pets and children during hot weather

With the days being so hot, please don't leave your pets outside all day. Bring them in so they have cooler air and make sure there is plenty of water, both inside and outside.

Because our companion pets have fur, they can potentially heat up faster than we do. One important safety procedure to always follow is never leave your pet in a parked car.

On humid days, it is especially important to bring your pets inside as the increased humidity makes it difficult for your pet to cool down through their panting. When it is hot outside, don't expect your pet to walk on ultra-hot asphalt. They can burn their paw pads. Buy some booties made for dogs, walk on the grass only, or best of all, wait until it is evening and much cooler to take them out.

Should your pet get heat exhaustion or heatstroke, here are suggestions from the Humane Society (www.humanesociety.org/resources/keep-pets-safe-heat).

"Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take them directly to a veterinarian."

Pets are important members of our families. Just as we don't want to be sitting outside in the extreme heat, neither do our pets enjoy being out in this heat.

Heat strokes in children

Keep your children inside during the heat of the day, as you don't want them to get over-heated or get heatstroke. Let them play outside in the early morning hours and late in the afternoon when the heat isn't as intense.

Make sure that there is plenty of water or drinks with ice for your kids.

Here are a few of the symptoms of heat exhaustion in children from the Children's Health website, https://bit.ly/2UAa2y4.

  • An elevated body temperature, usually between 100˚ and 104˚ Fahrenheit
  • Cool, clammy skin despite the heat
  • Goose bumps
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased thirst
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Should your child exhibit any of these signs take them into an air  conditioned environment and give them cool fluids with electrolytes to drink.

Cool wet towels applied to their skin can also help get their temperature down.

If your child won't drink, is agitated or having seizures, call your doctor immediately. If your doctor is unavailable, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room. Heat stroke in children can be very serious.

An additional safety tip for both pets and children is to never leave them unaccompanied next to a swimming pool or other body of water.

It only takes a second for a pet or child to fall in and a potential tragedy could occur. Be aware of your surroundings and enjoy your summer!

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: HAPPENINGS: Taking care of your pets and children during hot weather