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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- As the temperatures soar the American Red Cross shows you ways to stay safe and beat the heat in the region.

The American Red Cross reminds the public to never leave children or pets in the car.

The following tips are also suggested:

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

• Avoid extreme temperature changes.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.

• Postpone outdoor games and activities.

• Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water.

• If someone doesn't have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

You can get sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke from being in the heat for too long.

The American Red Cross says in order to help a person suffering from heat exhaustion, move the individual to a cooler place, have them rest, stretch the affected muscle and be sure to give them about four ounces of cool water every 15 minutes.

If an individual cannot drink water or starts to lose consciousness, contact the police.

If you would like more information on how to handle heat-related health situations visit: redcross.org

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