Extreme Heat Presents Real Dangers For Family And Pets

It's an issue many people simply write off as just another part of the summer. Overheating can lead to heat stroke, and without taking proper precautions, it can lead to serious problems.It's a scenario Ricky Bomar of the Lynchburg Fire Department sees far too often when summer heat gets extreme. Reacting once symptoms begin, says Bomar, is too late. Says Bomar, "If you're thirsty, then it's too late." Heat stroke is form of hyperthermia. Your body's temperature is greatly elevated. If it's not treated promptly and properly, it can be fatal.While some people write off the signs of heatstroke as a normal sign of summer, Bomar says the signs must be caught early. He describes heat related illnesses as "... is a dire emergency, (Heatstroke) absolutely needs to be at the emergency room."It can be an issue for children and pets, as well. A car, with the windows rolled up, can be extremely dangerous. Leaving your pet or child in the car for just a few minutes, while you run into the store, might seem harmless. However, cars heat up quickly. We conducted a test in our parking lot, and within a few minutes, the temperature soared to over 100 degrees. Continued exposure to those conditions can be fatal for your pets.Makena Yarbrough at the Lynchburg Humane Society says the signs of heatstroke are visible in pets, as well. Yarbrough says that owners should "Keep an eye on your animal's behavior. If there's a lot of panting involved, or if the animal appears to be in any distress, you should get medical care immediately."EMS responders say the best strategy for avoiding heatstroke is to limit your activities during the hottest part of the day. Making sure you, your children, and your pets have access to fresh water and shade, and you'll be able to keep cool during the hottest parts of the summer.