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Protecting Kids & Animals From The Record Heat

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A long-standing record high was shattered Monday in the Twin Cities. The National Weather Service said the metro hit 98 degrees, breaking the old record of 96 degrees, set in 1911. And as the temperature soared and the humidity made it feel even hotter.

Kids love to be outside but you have to make sure they’re hydrated and protected in this kind of heat.

Doctors recommend drinking more water than usual, likely a good three or four glasses more of water. And sports drinks are fine, too, to stay cool in this heat-wave.

Hosanna Thomas and her two children came prepared to the Como Zoo.

With a heat advisory and record-high temperatures in the Twin Cities, doctors are urging parents not to take chances.
Children, they say, are more susceptible to the heat.

“Because of the regulatory mechanisms in their body, they’re not able to get rid of the heat quite as well,” said Dr. Amy Stoesz, of Regions Hospital.

Stoesz said she sees children annually for heat-related illnesses.

If a child is tired, confused or seeing things that aren’t really there, they could be dehydrated. She recommends wearing loose, light clothing and drinking more liquids than usual.

Thirst is actually one of the later signs of dehydration, so if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Taking a break is a good idea, too.

“They’re both really good water drinkers, but when it’s warm out, we definitely drink more water,” said Jenny Whitcomb, who brought her children to the Como Zoo.

Zoo animals are also susceptible to the heat. At the Como Zoo, officials were using creative ways to keep their animals cool.

Polar bears were given a blast of cold air to cool them off. Their pool is chilled and they’re provided plenty of shade.

“It’s very similiar to kids. You keep an eye on them, just like your own kids, and be sure they’re getting enough water, that they have plnty of water, that they’re not working out too hard,” said Allison Jungheim of the Como Zoo.

Zookeepers gave black lemurs — Sinatra and Thurman — frozen fruit juice on Monday. They also took pictures of popsicles they recently gave orangutans and gorillas. They’re buckets of Kool-aid and fruit juice that the animals lick and play with it.

“It’s the same thing for us. You have that cool, tingling feeling when you hold onto ice, and they’re getting that same kind of reaction,” Jungheim said.

Zookeepers are keeping a close-eye on their animals, watching out for any abnormal behavior, as this Minnesota heat-wave continues.

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