Safety advice for extreme heat

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Temperatures in Michiana are soaring into the 90s, leaving uncomfortable heat and humid air. While hot weather can be a burden, it can also be very dangerous, especially for children, pets and seniors.

During times of excessive heat, kids should not spend too much time outdoors in direct sunlight. Children should rest their bodies in areas of shade and cool down at least 2 to 3 times daily and continue to stay hydrated. Parents should look for signs of heat exhaustion, like cool, moist skin, diziness, fatigue, and a lot of sweat; and signs of heat stroke, like hot, red, and dry skin, fading in and out of consciousness, and nausea. If parents see these signs, children should be taken immediately to a health care provider or the hospital, as these conditions can belife threatening.

Like humans, pets can also suffer from heat stroke. People should not over-exercise their pets outside on extremely hot days. When walking dogs, pavement heats much quicker than grass and can actually burn the pading off dogs' paws. Also, it's not a good idea to shave long-haired pets in the summertime. By removing the hair, owners are actually removing a dog's natural cooling system. It's also never okay to leave a pet in a vehicle. Signs of heat distress are elevetaed temperatures, hot to the touch, heavy panting and dehyrdration. To avoid this, keep animals in the shade or indoors, and always provide plenty of water.

Another heat-vulnerabe group is seniors. In fact, extreme and prolonged heat can be deadly. When caring for a senior or elderly individual, keep of glass of water in every room to quickly and easily access fluids, remove heavy clothing and keep lightweight, and light-colored clothing, keep them out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, keep shades and blinds pulled indoors and eat food like fruit and vegetables instead of hot meals.

Here are several ideas to keep your home cool during extreme heat with and without air conditioning.

-Change air filters
-Regularly check a/c units to make sure they are working efficiently
-Remove excess debris from around a/c units outdoors
-Utilize indoor fans
-Don't turn off a/c during the day, instead, use a programmable thermostat or adjust the temperature mannually
-Close shades and blinds indoors during the hottest time of the day

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