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With temperatures on the rise and the first days of summer right around the corner, local health officials want to remind you of safety precautions to take during the dog days of summer.

According to Executive Director of the MidIllinois Chapter of the American Red Cross Carl Baker, people should not leave children or pets in the car even if it's for a quick run into a store. He also encourages people to make a few adjustments such as staying hydrated, eating smaller meals, and avoid doing things outside alone.

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Pet owners need to watch after their pets a little more closely during hotter temperatures and to create a pet safety kit in case disaster hits your area. Baker encourages keeping a photo of your pet handy in case you become separated and also to keep notes of medications or behaviors they may have.

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Baker encourages anyone without an air conditioner, especially seniors, to seek shelter where there is air conditioning. Good places to seek include the library, your local senior center, or even a large retail or grocery store. It is always a good idea for residents with an elderly neighbor or relative near them to check on them throughout the day.

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Very hot summer days can cool off quickly thanks to passing severe storms. During power outages, the American Red Cross encourages people to leave things such as freezers and refrigerators closed to help keep the food cold longer and for people to get a items such as battery powered radios so they can know what's going on.

To obtain the checklists go to midillinoisredcross.org and for more information call 217-428-7758.

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