How to keep yourself and your pets safe in the blistering heat

Monday, July 2, 2018
How to keep yourself and your pets safe in the blistering heat
A woman fans herself to keep cool on a hot day while riding the ferry to Rockaway Beach in New York, July 1, 2018.

A dangerous heat wave is hitting the East Coast, impacting more than 60 million people from North Carolina to Maine.

Heat index values will be close to 100 degrees Monday in Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, New York City and Hartford. Some cities may reach record highs, with temperatures rising nearly 20 degrees above average.

The heat wave is expected to persist through most of the week, with temperatures above 90 degrees through Thursday.

Here are tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for how to keep yourself safe in the heat:

Wear sunscreen

Take precautions to prevent sunburn, which can make you dehydrated and impact your ability to cool down.

Put on sunscreen that's SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before you go outside. Sunscreens that say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" will work best.

Stay hydrated

Drink extra fluids to stay hydrated -- and don't wait until you are thirsty.

Avoid very sugary drinks and alcohol -- they can cause you to lose more fluid.

Also stay away from extra cold drinks because that can cause stomach cramps.

You should also stay away from hot and heavy meals -- they can add heat to your body.

Limit time outside

Cut down on exercise during heat waves and rest often and in shady areas.

Try to limit your time outside to when it is cooler, like in the early morning and evening.

Check the car

Never leave children in a parked car -- even if windows are cracked open.

Monitor loved ones who are high-risk

Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness at any time, but these people are at greater risk:

-- Babies and young children

-- Overweight people

-- Those 65 years old or older

-- People who overexert during work or exercise

-- Those who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure and those who take certain medications, including for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.

Watch for signs of illness

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

-- Body temperature of 103 degrees or higher

-- Hot, red, dry or damp skin

-- Fast, strong pulse

-- Headache

-- Dizziness

-- Nausea

-- Confusion

-- Passing out

-- No longer sweating

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

-- Heavy sweating

-- Cold, pale, clammy skin

-- Fast, weak pulse

-- Nausea or vomiting

-- Muscle cramps

-- Feeling tired or weak

-- Headache

-- Passing out

If someone shows symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion, call 911, move somewhere cooler and use towels to cool down his or her body.

Don't forget about your furry friends! Here are some tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) for how to keep your pets safe in the heat:

-- Provide plenty of fresh water so they don't get dehydrated.

-- Don't over-exercise your pets.

-- Never leave your pets alone in a parked car.

-- Watch for symptoms of overheating, which include: excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate and drooling.

-- Animals with flat faces, like pugs, can't pant as well so they are more at risk of heat stroke. These pets, as well as older and overweight pets, should be kept inside in the air-conditioning as much as possible.

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