Feelin' Hot! Hot! Hot!

Lawton_It's not only hot out there, it's downright dangerous.  One man just died after working on some train tracks in Oklahoma.  At the time of his death, he had a body temperature of more than 107 degrees and Monday night, forecasters predict more triple digit heat.  So be careful.

Being overheated can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.  It only takes 30 minutes for adult to be overcome by high temperatures.  Last year, a record 28 people in Oklahoma died from heat related causes.  Hyperthermia or "heat stroke" is caused when your body becomes too hot and leads to dehydration.  And, one of the most common places for that to happen is in a parked car.

Because of the triple digit temperatures and heat index, Kirk's Ambulance Service has responded to over fifteen heat related illness calls this past week.  "You're running into heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and could even die from it," Kirk's EMT Nathan Simpson said.  "As you can see from last year, we already had two kids die from it once."  He's talking about last summer, when two small girls from Cache died after being trapped in a hot car.

"It can get well over 100 degrees in a parked car in a matter of an hour, easily," Simpson said.  And, if you've ever parked outside on Oklahoma summer days, you know just how hot it can get.  It 's a dangerous place to be; a car's interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees in as little as one hour, a danger to both people and pets.

Lawton Animal Welfare officer Julio Ponce says Lawton's new ordinances include laws to protect pets, too.  "If it's hot outside, even if it's 80 or so, it can get 100 degrees in a vehicle with the windows down," Ponce said.  "So if you're going to be anywhere for any length of time, just don't take them in the heat.  That's the best rule of thumb."  It's also against the law.  Fines for animals locked in vehicles can run up to $750 and 60 days in jail.

Here are some tips to keep your car a little cooler and survive the summer heat:

  • Get a reflective windshield shade, it helps reflect the sun.
  • Crack your windows when you park.
  • Keep plenty of water in your car and drink it to stay hydrated.
  • Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing, it helps reflect the sun.
  • Stay indoors whenever possible; if you have to work outdoors, take regular breaks.
  • Be aware of yourself or anyone around you showing signs of a heat related illness; stop activity, get plenty of cool water and call a doctor.

When you leave your car always take your pets and children.  "Just take the kids inside with you, five minutes isn't going to account for a whole lot - it's worth more having your kid alive than dead," Simpson said.