While locals already know the drill, not everyone who visits Moab understands the toll heat can have on a body. The American Red Cross offers these tips:
• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who might spend time alone or may be more susceptible to problems such as the elderly.
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
• Eat small meals and eat more often.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and avoid dark colors that absorb the sun’s rays.
• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
• Listen to local media updates for the latest weather reports and prepare accordingly.
• Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
• Postpone outdoor games and activities.
• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
• Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
Don’t forget about pets.
Heat stroke is no joke for humans and it’s no different for our four-legged loved ones. “We have to remember pets go out in hot summer weather with a fur coat on. Dogs also don’t really sweat other than a little bit through their paws and so they’re trying to exchange heat and panting just doesn’t work,” said Rich Woodruff, Utah spokesperson for The American Red Cross.
Therefore, preventing heatstroke and dehydration is key, “Keep plenty of water on hand, keep them hydrated, don’t keep them out too long. Certainly keep them indoors if you can in air conditioning, especially if your dog is typically outdoors,” Woodruff added.
Common breeds more at risk of heatstroke include Pug, Pekinese, bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, and Cavalier Charles Spaniels. However, no dog is immune to heatstroke. The Red Cross recommends these summer safety tips:
• Never leave an animal in a parked vehicle if the outside temperature is over 65 degrees. Because of the “greenhouse affect” temperatures can soar to dangerous levels very quickly.
• Be aware of sensitive paw pads that can burn on hot asphalt where temperatures can easily reach 150 degrees. Walk your dog in the cooler hours or put doggie boots on them.
• Trim longer hair but never shave your dog.
• Keep your pets hydrated all day.
• Recognize the signs of overheating: excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, dry gums, refusal to eat, mild weakness, excessive thirst, lethargy, vomiting, seizures and unconsciousness.
• Having an emergency kit is also a good idea and be prepared to immediately cool down your dog if you think it’s too hot. “Apply a cold pack to the groin area. A good test is if you take the dog’s temperature and if it’s 103 degrees or above that’s a real serious issue right there,” said Woodruff.