Caroline Reinwald reports on this story tonight at 5 on NewsCenter 7.

Health official: ‘Stay hydrated’ this weekend if outdoors

With the Dayton metro area under an Excessive Heat Warning, a Miami Valley Hospital official says that those who spend time outside should adjust their schedule this weekend.

Those who like to jog or are planning to mow their lawn should do so in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the midday when the “sun’s at its highest point and it’s the most unbearable,” said David Garcia, manager of the injury prevention program at Miami Valley Hospital.

“Take water with you,” Garcia said. “If you’re going on a walk, make sure you drink water to stay hydrated. Alcohol, sugary drinks are not going to keep you hydrated. They pull water from your body and make you more thirsty.”

Garcia said the hospital is prepared this weekend to see more heat-related illnesses.

“Sometimes when it’s hot, you don’t realize the humidity is as unbearable as it is and the effects it’s going to have on you,” Garcia said.

With temperatures expected to reach the mid-90s this weekend, Garcia said it only takes 10 to 20 minutes for temperatures to climb to 120 in a car — which are “unsustainable,” he said.

“When the body temperature rises, you start getting dehydrated,” Garcia said. “The body starts shutting down once it hits 105 degrees, at which point there could be brain damage, blindness or death.”

Garcia suggests that if you have children in the backseat of your car, put something in the backseat — wallet, phone, purse — that you won’t leave without.

“Something that you know you’re going to have to go back for, that way you don’t end up forgetting somebody in the backseat,” Garcia said.

Dr. Nathan Dicke, a vet at Northmont Animal Clinic, said the concern with animals is heat stroke when they are exposed to high temperatures for too long. Signs of heat stroke are excessive panting, exhaustion, lethargy, collapse and seizures.

Dicke said he hasn’t seen any cases related to animals trapped in a hot car, but other cases include animals trapped in a yard, been outside too long or in a garage too long.

“All dogs are certainly susceptible (to heat stroke),” Dicke said. “Large dogs with lots of hair are more likely to have it, just like us wearing a heavy coat. That’s what they’re wearing. They’re not necessarily made for warm weather. They’re made for the cooler weather.”

For people who keep their dogs outside, Dicke recommends giving them ample shade, plenty of drinking water and air flow, such as a fan.

“If we’re too hot and we’re not comfortable, they’re not comfortable,” Dicke said. “As long as you abide by that, you’re usually in pretty good shape.”

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton offers nine suggestions to keep your animals safe this summer:

  • Supply water – Have fresh, clean water available at all times to keep your pets hydrated and cool in the heat.
  • Offer shelter – Providing shelter from the sun will help keep your animals cooler and out of harm’s way. Whether it is a covered structure or a shaded area, make sure that if your animals are outside, they have a place to escape from the direct sun.
  • Keep air flowing freely – Avoid putting your pets in an enclosed shelter during hot weather. Air cannot flow freely and the temperature inside the enclosure can become very hot and harmful, very quickly.
  • Avoid leaving pets in vehicles – Animals can overheat very fast and in just a few minutes the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous levels for your pet, which could lead to heat-related health problems.
  • Exercise in mornings or evenings – During these hot temperatures it is safer for your pets to take walks during the morning or evening hours. This way the sun is not at its peak and temperatures are more manageable for animals.
  • Keep coolants and chemicals away — Using coolants or lawn chemicals in the summer can be harmful to your pets. If ingested, these types of materials can make your pets sick or may even kill them. Keep these items out of your pet’s reach.
  • Groom your pets – If you have long-haired animals, help them beat the heat and stay cool by grooming them. Besides haircuts, brushing your pets regularly will help them stay tangle free and will allow air to reach their skin more easily.
  • Be aware of problems – If your pet is panting excessively, lethargic, showing signs of stress or exhibiting a change in their behavior they may be suffering from heat-related problems. If you notice any of these symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Find ways to cool down pets – Whether it is a dip in a lake or filling up a baby pool in your backyard, letting pets take a dip helps to keep them cooler as temperatures rise.

News Center 7’s Caroline Reinwald is working on this story, and will bring you more later today.

Cooling centers are opening across the area as an excessive heat warning and a heat advisory take effect today.

The Dayton metro area is under an Excessive Heat Warning and the rest of the area is under a Heat Advisory until 8 p.m. Saturday.

The temperature on Friday is expected to reach around 90 with heat index values around 100. The heat index on Saturday and Sunday is expected to be over 100 degrees.

RELATED: 6 ways to stay cool as heat hits Dayton area

With temperatures reaching dangerous levels this weekend and the potential for pop-up storms, download our free weather app so you can get the latest forecast information and current temperatures anytime, anywhere.

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