Heat safety tips for people and pets
Stay safe and cool during hot summer months
The hottest days of summer are here. High temperatures and humidity pose a threat to people and pets alike. Stay cool and safe with these 10 quick tips from the West Chester Fire Department.
Tips for Staying Cool
1.) Drink plenty of non-carbonated liquids like water or electrolyte-enriched liquids to replace your fluids even if you don't feel thirsty.
- PETS – Put extra water out for pets throughout the house. Add ice cubes to the bowl.
2.) Avoid liquids that have alcohol, caffeine or lots of sugar because they will speed up fluid loss.
- PETS – Frozen treats, like peanut butter popsicles, can help your pet cool down and are easy to make at home.
3.) If you feel very hot, cool off by taking a cool bath or shower. Opening a window or using a fan may not prevent heat-related illnesses.
- PETS – Know the signs of heatstroke. Symptoms include weakness, drooling, fever, vomiting, heavy panting and dizziness. If you suspect heatstroke, get to the vet ASAP.
4.) Stay in air-conditioned areas such as malls, libraries and movie theatres. Even a few hours can cool your body's temperature.
- PETS – Don’t leave pets outside for more than a few minutes. Heatstroke can occur even when they’re in the shade.
5.) Do not cool children in alcohol baths. Cool, plain water baths or moist towels work best.
- PETS – Let pets sit in front of fans, run through the sprinkler in the yard, or play in kiddie pools.
6.) Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, such as cotton, so sweat can evaporate.
- PETS – Brush your pet regularly in the summer months to help thin their coat.
7.) NEVER leave people or pets in closed, parked cars during hot weather.
- PETS – This goes for pets, too. Leaving pets in the car in summer can be dangerous even when the A/C is running or the windows are cracked.
8.) Do not bundle babies in blankets or heavy clothing. Infants do not tolerate heat well because their sweat glands are not fully developed.
- PETS – Keep fur trimmed short, but not shorter than about an inch, or as recommended by your groomer.
9.) Limit physical activity to morning and evening hours. Avoid physical activity or exercise between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – typically the hottest part of the day. Rest often in shady areas.
- PETS – Walk pets during the cooler hours of the day. Avoid hot sidewalks, pavement and other hot surfaces that could burn paws. Test the temperature by placing your hand on the surface; if you can’t leave your hand there for 10 seconds, the surface is too hot for paws.
10.) Wear a wide-brimmed, vented hat or use an umbrella because your head absorbs heat easily.
- PETS – Consider applying pet sunscreen, but only if it is specifically labeled for animals.