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Safety Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

It’s finally Summertime and you’re probably ready to get out of the house and into the summer fun with the family and fido. But before you do, read up on these tips to help keep everyone in the family safe during the dog days of summer.

Minimize sun and heat exposure

  • Before venturing out into the summer sun, you should apply sunscreen on yourself/children with SPF greater than 15. Apply 30 minutes before activity and reapply every 2 hours or more when swimming or sweating.
  • Don’t forget about the dog! Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburn and are susceptible to skin cancer, so you should apply dog sunscreen (be sure to use sunscreen specifically for dogs and not human sunscreen) to your dog on the spots most vulnerable to sun, such as the bridge of the nose, ear tips, skin around the lips, groin, and inner thighs.
  • Dress you and your family in light, breathable clothing. Consider dressing your little one in swim shirts, hats and sunglasses to protect them from the sun.
  • Limit a child/pet’s outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day or find a shaded spot.
  • Never leave your child/pet unattended in your car, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Even on days as mild days, your car’s temperature can reach up to 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

Watch for heat exhaustion

According to Ready.gov, Warning signs of heat exhaustion vary but may include the following:

Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, nausea, vomiting.

If you or someone you are with are experiencing these symptoms, go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Keep yourself, your children and your animals hydrated

  • Make sure you/your child drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Always provide your pets with plenty of freshwater as well.
     
  • Eating water-rich fruits such as grapes or watermelon can also help kids replace fluids and gain nutrients.
     
  • When traveling or about and about with your pet, bring water and a drinking receptacle so that they can stay hydrated.

Practice Swim Safety

  • Never leave a child unattended in the pool or near a body of water
  • Check safety equipment to be sure that the equipment is functional every time you use it
  • Consider starting your children in swimming lessons before the pool/beach season starts
  • Learn basic CPR and first aid
  • Discourage children from roughhousing in or around the pool to prevent falls, head injuries or drownings

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