Local organizations provide parents, pet owners with heat safety tips

Playground, pet safety during excessive heat

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the intense heat lasting through the weekend, there are some warnings parents should take heed of before taking children to play outside.

On Friday, WMC Action News 5 and the Shelby County Fire Department went to Windward Slopes Park in Lakeland to see just how hot playground equipment could get.

"That’s slightly above first degree burn right there,” said Brent Perkins with the Shelby County Fire Department, as he measured the heat radiating from a playground.

Sarah Bishop was at the park playing tennis with her kids, but she didn’t stay long.

“We’re only probably going to be out here about another 10 minutes. It’s just too hot to go outside,” said Bishop.

Perkins with the Shelby County Fire Department says when it gets this hot, common sense is key. Think about how long equipment has been sitting under the sun before you or your kids get on.

"At 111 degrees that’s when you start feeling pain. At 118 degrees you can begin to get burns. It doesn’t really take a whole lot to soak something in the heat long enough to get it to the point where it can become dangerous,” said Perkins.

Experts say if you're going to be outside make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion.

"If you’ve been sweating a lot and then all of the sudden you stop sweating. That’s a sign that you’re in the danger zone. If you begin to feel nauseous or dizzy or confused,” said Perkins.

During a heat wave it’s also important to take care of your pets.

Here are some signs experts say you should look out for if you’re taking them for a walk or playing outside:

"If they start to really slow down pretty significantly. If they’re panting and just can’t catch their breath. Sometimes you can see blue or pale gums,” said Dr. Nicholas Baer with the Walnut Grove Animal Clinic.

If you fear your pet is overheating, here’s what you should do:

"Rubbing alcohol on their paw pads. Put them in a cool area with a fan on them, but most importantly just get them to a veterinarian as quickly as possible,” said Baer.

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