OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Red Cross has heat safety tips on how Oklahomans can protect themselves and their pets as summer approaches and temperatures rise.

KFOR’s 4 Warn Forecast shows temperatures climbing into the 90s Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

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4 Warn Forecast

Excessive heat is the leading cause of death among weather events.

Red Cross has the following tips on how people can protect themselves from excessive heat:

  • Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places such as schools, libraries, theaters and malls.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.  
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays. 
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. 
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities. 
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. 
  • Take frequent breaks if working outdoors. 

The Red Cross encourages Oklahomans to download the Red Cross First Aid app and take the first aid course.

Pets are also susceptible to heat dangers.

The Red Cross advises community members to check on their animals frequently to ensure they are not suffering from hot temperatures, and to provide plenty of cool shade and water.

“Animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather,” Red Cross officials said.

Red Cross lists the following as signs a pet is suffering from heat stroke:

  • Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down. 
  • Brick red gum color 
  • Fast pulse rate 
  • Unable to get up. 
  • If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when their temperature reaches 103 degrees. 
  • Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.

Oklahomans can download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app and take both the cat and dog first aid course.

“The app features step-by-step instructions for cat and dog first aid emergencies and more. Take the Cat and Dog First Aid online course to learn what to do for bleeding, seizures, heatstroke and other conditions until veterinary care is available,” Red Cross officials said.