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REMSA and SPCA advise on heat risks for kids and pets

A little girl is holding a leash that is attached to a small dog.
Mark Robinson
Flickr Creative Commons

With temperatures expected to reach near triple digits this weekend, REMSA and the SPCA offered tips on how to keep kids and pets safe.

As the days get hotter, the risk of heat-related illness becomes a serious concern, especially for kids and furry friends.

In Reno, temperatures are expected to flirt with 100 degrees on Saturday. In that kind of heat, the inside of a car can reach over 140 degrees after about an hour said Jennifer Walters with REMSA.

“It's pretty crazy how hot it can get in the car, because you know, you have like leather and plastic and things like that in the car that are radiating that heat and it can really just kind of create like an oven," Walters said.

Children left inside a vehicle are especially vulnerable.

“They're not able to regulate their temperature as well, and their body temperatures can rise about three to five times faster than adults," Walters said.

If you see a child in a hot car, check to see if they’re responsive and call 911.

Children aren’t the only ones vulnerable to the heat. Pets, especially dogs, are often exposed to the heat, making them susceptible to harm, said Karrie Wirth, director of operations for the SPCA of Northern Nevada.

“The warm weather and hot road surfaces can cause heat stroke and burn paw pads before your pets can even began to show signs of pain or discomfort," Wirth said.

On a hot summer day, asphalt can be over 60 degrees hotter than the actual air temperature. This is far beyond what any animal paw can handle.

She says cooling pads, freezing their favorite treats or filling a kiddie pool with a little water helps keep dogs cool.

If you see an animal in a hot car, call 911 or local animal services. It is legal to break a window to rescue a child from a hot car, only an officer or animal services can rescue an animal.

The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.

Nick Stewart is a political reporting intern for KUNR and a student with the Reynolds School of Journalism at UNR.
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