Extreme heat across the region provides dangers for elderly, as well as pets

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UPDATED: 3:28 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia region is in the grips of a heat wave, with temperatures feeling like triple digits.

An excessive heat warning is in effect through Monday evening, and the City of Philadelphia has issued its first heat health emergency of the year, effective Monday at 8:30 a.m.

The dangerous heat and humidity present a serious health risk for the elderly, as well as your pets.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the way we see family and friends, but with the extreme heat, KYW Newsradio medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough says it's important for people to check on elderly loved ones and neighbors.

"They may not know the situation at home. For instance if they have enough medications, if it’s cool enough in the home where they are so do what you can obviously safely," he said.

"If they are exposed to the heat and they're not cooled off, they can make mistakes," McDonough continued. "For instance, they make mistakes with the medication they take, they can get dehydrated very rapidly."

For Jessica Ferro and her dog Patches, the excessive heat means an earlier than usual walk.

"You know we gotta get our exercise, we gotta get out so there's not too much of an option other than to brave the outdoors with the heat, but sure, it is a concern," she said.

In this weather, Linda Torelli, with the Brandywine Valley SPCA, warned Patches and other dogs can get burns on the pads of their feet if they are on the asphalt for too long.

You should also watch for signs of heat stroke, she said, include panting heavily, drooling and even vomiting.

"If you have any questions about that at all, you want to start getting cool water onto their pads or their body," Torelli advised. If symptoms persist, call your veterinarian.

"Also, don't leave your dog in the car without air conditioning," she added. "It can heat up expediently."