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High temps in Oklahoma City spur heat alert

SEAN ELY Modified: June 24, 2009 at 4:34 am •  Published: June 24, 2009
Central Oklahoma’s first heat alert of the summer was issued at noon Tuesday.

The Emergency Medical Services Authority responded to five heat-related illnesses between 9 a.m. and noon, and at 4:30 p.m. responded to a sixth.

Two people were taken to Integris Southwest Medical Center, one to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and another to St. Anthony Hospital, while two others were treated on the scene.

"This shows that the morning isn’t cooling enough for folks like they think it is,” said Lara O’Leary, EMSA spokeswoman. "Being out in the heat takes a toll on public safety. People need to taper off their activities, stay indoors and make sure to check on their elderly loved ones. It’s worth the drive to walk into their home and make sure it’s cool enough.”

A heat alert is issued when five or more heat-related medical calls are made to EMSA in a 24-hour period and dangerously hot weather is expected to continue.

By 3 p.m., EMSA reported five patients with heat-related illnesses in Tulsa — three of those children. Kids cannot regulate body temperatures or perspire as much as adults, which aids in cooling down, EMSA reported. So kids need extra attention and care.

The Oklahoma Mesonet site at Fairview reached 105 degrees Tuesday afternoon, the highest temperature reading this year at a Mesonet site.

Keeping your animals cool during the hot summer months

Small pets

→Provide fresh water and shade for outdoor animals. Put a few ice cubes in the water to keep it cool.

→Don’t leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even with the windows open or in the shade.

→Let your animal play outdoors in the morning or evening, not during high humidity or after a meal.

→Avoid going for walks on hot asphalt.

→Carry a container of cold water when traveling with your pet.

→Make sure your car doesn’t leak coolant or other fluids. Animals are attracted to the smell, and the substances are deadly.

→Brush cats often. Trim dog coats to 1 inch, which will protect from the sun but prevent overheating.

→Don’t use sunscreens or insect repellents meant for people.

→Key a close eye on all pets, especially old, overweight, ill or snub-nosed animals.

Large animals

→Do exercise, work and feedings in the early morning.

→Set up misters, which can be on all the time or with a timer.

→If animals are in a barn or stall, provide fans.

Sources: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association


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