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Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014
heat safety tips: for people and petsPosted Wednesday, June 8, 2011, at 9:17 PM
Have a safe summer
Never leave your children or animals in a car at any time. A car in 80 degree temp can easily reach 110 temps in ten minutes.
The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively "transparent" to the sun's shortwave radiation and are warmed little. However this shortwave energy does heat objects that it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees F.
These objects (e.g., dashboard, steering wheel, childseat) heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and also give off longwave radiation which is very efficient at warming the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Special precaution, therefore, should be taken with infants and small children during periods of high temperature and humidity. An infant should never be left unattended in a vehicle even if it is "just for a few minutes." A tragedy can occur when what was anticipated as "a few minutes" extends much longer because of an unexpectedly long check-out line, a forgotten item, or a distraction by a seldom-seen friend. Unsupervised, small children playing in or around automobiles can unknowingly trap themselves inside a vehicle and be unable to get out. While it may seem that leaving a child in a hot car is obviously inappropriate, the recent deaths are indications that the public isn't fully aware of the danger.
This also goes for pets.
Symptoms of Heat exhaustion in car or outside for Pets:
*Danger signals to watch for in a dog or cat:
1. heavy panting
2. rapid breathing
*When breathing suddenly becomes quiet with any of these symptoms, the animal may collapse.
*An animal affected by heat-stroke can die in minutes, but proper care may save its life.
*Safely and immediately remove the animal from its hot environment, to a safe shaded area if possible.
*Slowly cool the animal by placing it in cool, not cold, water. Reduce body heat gradually.
*If possible, the wind or a fan breeze directed to wet areas of the animal's body will help with cooling.
*Take the distressed pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment for dehydration and other serious problems will be necessary.
I once left my cat, Sarge (30 years ago) outdoors on a leash and forgot him. He was panting and very hot when I suddenly remembered 20 minutes later.. I managed to get him cooled down and all was well but I learned a valuable first hand lesson that day and had such guilt and sorrow over even that small amount of suffering I caused. He forgave me and all was well and I did learn the hard way.
Please check on elderly and disabled neighbors. They may not be able to help themselves as easy as we can in this heat. When the humidity is high the body will not be able to "wick" away and sweat to cool the body temperature. If they have no AC Provide at least several box fans, and plenty of water for them.
What to do in emergancy of heat stroke:
Recognizing Heat Stroke
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:
*An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
*Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
*Rapid, strong pulse
What to Do
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:
*Get the victim to a shady area.
*Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
*Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
*If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
*Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
*Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sometimes a victim's muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.
I hope you never have to use any of this emergancy care on a loved one, but I hope it helps.
A Final Tip:
Make certain your Pets have penty of fresh water each day if they are outdoor only pets. Make certain they have lots of shaded areas in the summer sun/heat.
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Lesa Cox has owned a cleaning service and a bookstore; now, she repairs and maintains computers for the elderly and others on a fixed income. She enjoys animals, gardening, books and fixing old cars. She and her husband have one son, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome.
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