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Tips on how to keep your family and pets safe during the heat wave

Posted: 6:35 PM, Jun 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-12 01:35:30Z

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The high for today is projected to reach 108 degrees, but with a heat index thermometer it can become as hot as 120 degrees on the asphalt, which can pose a risk for people outside.

Dr. William Baker, a local Bakersfield physician says heat stroke can be deadly in extreme heat, especially the elderly community who are prone to further complications.

‘There are three different manifestations of heat illness,” said Baker. “There are heat cramps which is simply fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion, which is the second phase of that which there is a lack of solid-fluid inside the body.

The last phase is, heat stroke, which can be deadly in extreme heat. The extreme heat is not only dangerous for individuals but just as deadly towards our four-legged friends.

Julie Johnson, executive director, for Bakersfield SPCA says heat stroke is a huge issue that their veterinarians see each year and it is completely preventable just by taking these steps to ensure that they are safe.

“If you are able to see their paw prints on the sidewalk while they walk you got to call a vet immediately because that is a sign of heat stroke,” said Johnson. “It is very important that your pets have plenty of cool water, shade and a way to get out of that heat.”

Not providing proper animal care is considered animal cruelty in the court of law and you could be fined.

Johnson says the best time to walk your dog in conditions like these is early in the morning or later at night.

Another way to look out for heat complications is to be mindful of bodily fluids which will tell you what your body needs.

“If you are working in the heat and your urine is dark you don’t have enough fluids,” Baker said. “For athletes and those working out regularly, urine should be light yellow or clear.”

Baker also wants to remind the community to not just drink water but also sports drinks to obtain the necessary electrolytes, in order to prevent seizures.