Keep Pets, Kids Cool on Hot Days
Doctors warn to keep the most vulnerable populations cool on hot days when temperatures climb dangerously high. This includes babies, the elderly and pets.
Keeping children and babies cool
When it comes to heat warnings, children are at the top of the list to watch.
“They have a harder time regulating their body because of the surface area,” explains Natalie Ikeman, a physician assistant with HCMC Golden Valley. “An adult is able to get more heat out, but a child doesn’t have the surface area to do that.”
On a day when there are excessive heat warnings, safety means keeping children cool. Maybe it’s a day to go to the pool or lake. Maybe it’s a day to stay inside. Parents should keep an even closer eye on babies. Often it’s tough to tell if nursing babies are getting enough milk on hot days.
Ikeman says if nursing babies aren’t feeding correctly, if they are fatigued or more sleepy than usual, they might be dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion.
“No baby should be outside in the heat,” says Ikeman. “It’s really not appropriate. They have a difficult time regulating temperature.”
Finding cool places on hot days
Hennepin County released an interactive map of places where you can get cool. Community centers, public libraries, and shopping centers are on the list.
Keeping pets cool
Pets also cannot always speak for themselves when they say it’s too hot.
“With heat stroke, you’ll see them laying on the ground. They will be panting heavily,” says Dr. Angelica Dimock, a veterinarian with the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. “It will look like they just ran a mile even though they are just sitting there.”
Dr. Dimock says always have water on hand and keep pets at home in the cool if you can. Be wary of taking pets on errands in the car.
“If you have to bring them somewhere, keep them in the car with a person and the AC on,” says Dr. Dimock. “Within five minutes it can get over 140 degrees inside. Deaths can happen and happen a lot, unfortunately.”
Keeping Cool at the Pool
People did flock to Crystal Cove to try to beat the heat on a hot June day. Patrons stood in line waiting for the pool to open and staff stocked the pool with extra lifeguards to accommodate the predictable crowd. Lifeguards are also taking breaks to protect themselves from the heat.
“Today the lifeguards are doing to be taking breaks in the water. Some of their stands will be in the water and they will be actively watching patrons,” says Gretchen Enselein, pool manager. “We brought some nice cool popsicles for them to have on their breaks and they’ll be drinking lots of water, staying under the umbrellas and in the shade during their shifts.”