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Up north, people risk freezing to death in the winter.

Down here in the south, the summer heat is a real threat.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieWe see extreme cases of people leaving babies, children and animals in locked cars.

On Thursday, July 12, a child’s death in Mesa and a serious injury to a K-9 Arizona Department of Public Safety unit in Tucson were reported. Both child and dog were left alone in vehicles.

While it’s not as hot in Sedona and the Verde Valley, we reach summer highs capable of creating dangerous situations.

Mild monsoon activity brought some relief Wednesday, July 11, but it’s still important to remember high temperatures can be dangerous, and basic precautions and common sense need to be exercised.

Do not ever leave children or animals in a car in the summer, regardless of whether you crack the windows.

Think about how hot a vehicle is when you first get in even if you didn’t roll up the windows all the way.

If it feels hot to you, imagine sitting in that heat for any length of time.

People and animals also need access to shade and cool air on a hot day.

Don’t send the kids out to play on the pavement midday and tell them not to come back inside.

Don’t leave your animal outside without shade and water readily available.

Children and animals, along with elderly people, are at higher risk for suffering heat-related illness.

On a more basic level, remember staying hydrated is the key to staying healthy in the summer.

I myself experienced a dehydration-induced lack of energy on the treadmill Thursday morning, and I drink enough water for my co-workers to tease me about leaving some for the fish. My body felt sluggish and my mouth dry. Immediately after hydrating I began to regain my strength.

Even those who drink water all day long need to be careful in the summer. Certain medications, including a large number of allergy pills many of us around here are forced to take, further dry out the body. If you’re active or outside for any length of time drinking more water is even more important.

So, let’s not publish headlines similar to what Phoenix news agencies had to do July 12, and remember to drink water, stay cool and watch out for those who need help.


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