When the sun is in the sky and the weather is heating up in Fall River and the South Coast, most people think of fun days at the beach splashing in the water or relaxing with a good book. While summer generally is a time for fun and relaxation, rising temperatures can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Kids and pets are among the most vulnerable during these summer months, so HIG wants to remind you to follow these summer heat safety tips that will keep your family safe.

Kids Summer Heat Safety

Children’s body temperatures can rise much more quickly than adults in hot temperatures, and kids can’t always communicate what they may be feeling. That’s why these summer heat safety precautions should be taken to ensure your child’s safety.

  • Never leave your child unattended in a car. In 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise 20 degrees. Even if it is only 60 degrees outside, your car’s temperature can still reach 110 degrees in direct sunlight.
  • Supervise children at all times. During outdoor play, monitor children closely to check for signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration. Early signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. If symptoms are more severe such as vomiting and seizures, these are signs of heat stroke, and you should seek help immediately.
  • Hydrate. Children need to be drinking more fluids during the hot weather. Don’t wait for your child to tell you they are thirsty. Have your child take breaks every 20 minutes from playing outdoors to hydrate with a cup of water in a shady, cool spot out of the sun.
  • Protect their skin. If you plan to be in the sun with a baby under six months we recommend SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade. Children over six months old should wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15, liberally applied frequently, and loose clothes that allow their skin to breathe. Hats are also an excellent choice, along with sunglasses to protect their eyes.

Summer Heat Safety For Your Pets

For most of us, our pets are like an extension of our children, for some of us they are our children, so remember, your pets can’t tell you when they are uncomfortable or may be in danger of overheating. By following these simple summer heat safety tips you can help keep them safe.

  • Never leave your pets in the car. You might think if you crack the window and run into the store quickly, your pup will be okay. This is most likely not accurate. Car temperatures, as stated above, can rise quickly and this is extremely dangerous for your pet. Not only is it dangerous to leave your pet in a hot car, in some states it’s against the law. In Rhode Island, you can face criminal charges for leaving your dog in the car on a hot day.
  • Walk them early or later in the evening. Your pet still needs exercise in the summer, but walking your pet in the early hours of the morning or late evening when temperatures have cooled can help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Walk them on grass or dirt. Don’t forget that your pet doesn’t wear shoes like you do! If the ground is too hot to walk on with bare feet, it’s too hot for your pooch, too. Walking your dog on grass or dirt can help avoid burning their paws.
  • Keep your pet hydrated. Dogs have to pant to cool down and on a very hot day; this can be ineffective in lowering their body temperatures. Make sure your pet spends a majority of the day in a cool environment and has plenty of access to water to avoid heat stroke.
  • Know the signs. Monitor your pet for any signs of heatstroke. Symptoms that your pet may be overheating include rapid panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and in extreme cases, seizure and physical collapse. In case of an emergency, bring your pet to the nearest animal hospital.

Although, summer is a time for fun, it’s also a time when heat and humidity are at all-time highs, which can be extremely dangerous for the most vulnerable loved ones in our lives, like our kids and pets. HIG wants to remind you to take these summer heat safety precautions to protect your family this summer. HIG has been serving individuals and families for more than 100 years as experts in insurance, but our number one priority is you. For more safety tips for protecting your home, business, and family, visit our blog.