As hot weather has made its way into Mid-Michigan, it's important to remember those most susceptible to heat-related medical issues. Children and the elderly are most likely to experience some sort of heat-related illness. And, some of those could prove fatal. And, yes, let's also not forget about our fur friends...as you know, pets don't sweat.

For the kids, a good way to keep them cooled off and entertained is a trip to one of Ingham County's water havens: Hawk Island Park and its splash pad, or Lake Lansing Park South and its beach. Both offer an array of other family recreational activities, but, who needs help working up a sweat in this heat? Also, remember that East Lansing's Aquatic Center is also available complete with all of the water activities one could desire. Below are links to the websites for the facilities. Whatever adventure the young ones embark upon, be sure they're well-hydrated and watch for signs of heat exhaustion. This link to webmd.com gives you all you need to know.

With the elderly, check on them frequently to be sure they are not experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, especially those without air conditioning. There are a number of cooling centers around Mid-Michigan for anybody who needs a bit of relief, including area Meijer stores, CATA and EATRAN Buses, as well as both McLaren and Sparrow Hospitals . This link takes you to the City of Lansing website and a full list of cooling centers.

And, as far as the pets are concerned, under no circumstances leave them in a vehicle, even with windows down. With heat like we're experiencing this week, your car can heat up to well over 115 degrees in less than 90 seconds. For pets, who don't sweat, exposure to temperatures this extreme will cause them great bodily harm in mere minutes. Keep this in mind as your fur babies need to do their business outside, or, like kids, are just anxious to play in the sun, avoid prolonged exposure. I, personally, will not leave my dog out in this heat any longer than 5 minutes. Heat and humidity combined like they are make it difficult for dogs and cats to sustain any length of exposure more than 10-15 minutes.

Keep everybody hydrated and cool, including yourself. Heat indexes should drop next week, but, we're in for what looks to be an extended run of hot weather.

Ingham County Parks website

East Lansing Aquatic Center website