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Summer heat especially dangerous for children, pets

With the highest temperatures of the year happening now, it’s important to know how to keep pets and children safe, especially in vehicles.

Boulder City Animal Control Supervisor Ann Inabnitt said owners should keep their pets off asphalt and out of cars.

“People still leave them in their cars, thinking they’ll be right back; but what if?” she said. “Anything can happen. There’s no right reason to leave your animal in the car right now. It’s too hot.”

The same is true with children.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the temperature in a car can rise by 20 degrees in 10 minutes and a child left in one can die within minutes. Heatstroke starts when a person’s core body temperature reaches 104 degrees, and 107 degrees is lethal.

To prevent that from happening, parents and caregivers should never leave a child unattended in a vehicle even with the air conditioning on or windows open. They can also make it a habit to check the entire vehicle before locking it or place a personal item in the backseat with the child as a reminder.

With the heat, it’s also important to take precautions when outside for a prolonged period of time. High temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses for people, including children.

According to the National Weather Service, people should drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun, when possible do strenuous activities in the early morning or evening and take extra precautions when working outside.

For pets, the best way to keep them safe is to keep them inside and walk them before 8 a.m. and an hour before sunset.

“We’re seeing a lot of burned paws from the asphalt,” Inabnitt said.

If someone is wondering if it’s cool enough to take their pet outside, Inabnitt said to place a hand on the ground.

“If it is comfortable for you, it’s OK for the dog. … Bottom line, in the summer, it’s not illegal but it’s a really bad idea to leave your dog outside,” she said.

If a dog is overheated, she said the owner should put it into a cool, not cold, place in the house or the bathtub with cool, not cold, water.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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