OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Red Cross has heat safety tips on how Oklahomans can protect themselves and their pets as summer approaches and temperatures rise.
KFOR’s 4 Warn forecast shows temperatures climbing into the 90s on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Excessive heat is the leading cause of death among weather phenomena.
The Red Cross has the following advice on how people can protect themselves from excessive heat:
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The car’s interior temperature can quickly reach 120 degrees.
- Check family, friends, and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, spend a lot of their time alone, or are more likely to be affected by heat.
- If someone does not have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the hottest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters and shopping malls.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors as they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors, and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities.
- Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
- Take frequent breaks if you work outdoors.
The Red Cross encourages Oklahomans to download the Red Cross First Aid app and take the first aid course.
Pets are also sensitive to the dangers of heat.
The Red Cross advises community members to check their animals frequently to ensure they are not suffering from high temperatures and to provide plenty of cool shade and water.
“Animals can suffer from heat stroke, a common problem for pets in hot weather,” Red Cross officials said.
The Red Cross lists the following signs that an animal is suffering from heat stroke:
- Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down.
- Brick red gum color
- rapid pulse
- Unable to get up.
- If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal. The easiest way to do this is to use the garden hose. Stop cooling the animal when its temperature reaches 103 degrees.
- Take your pet to the vet as soon as possible, as heat stroke can lead to serious organ dysfunction and damage.
Oklahomans can download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app and take the first aid course for cats and dogs.
“The app offers step-by-step instructions for cat and dog first aid emergencies and more. Take the online Cat and Dog First Aid course to learn what to do in case of bleeding, seizures, heat stroke and other conditions until veterinary care is available,” Red Cross officials said.
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