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Making the best of the dog days of summer

Dave DeLuca

From skate parks and dog parks, to swimming pools and splash pads, the heat wave was affecting activities in a big way. Tuesday was another hot one in Buffalo, the fifth straight day of temperatures above 80 degrees.

Skateboarding shirtless at LaSalle Park, Alexi Ortiz needed to take a lot of water breaks as sweat dripped from his shaved head.Ortiz and his friend, Jared Bellamy took to LaSalle’s skate park, while others frolicked in  Centennial’s splash pad, nd jumped in the pool to beat the heat and made sure their pooches were well-hydrated at the Barkyard.

Migdalia Rodriquez said it was an easy decision to take her grandson, Alexander, to the splash pad.

“I decided to come here so he could go in and enjoy,” she said. “And I could sit down and enjoy the breeze.”

Sweltering conditions spurred Mayor Byron Brown to extend operating hours by one hour at all city pools the next two days.

Meanwhile, the dog days of summer were evident over at the Barkyard, an off-leash area for canines in LaSalle Park. Mr. Lucky, Rex and other four-legged critters were panting far more than usual. One owner stressed the importance of making sure pets aren’t kept outside too long when the mercury rises.

Experts at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York said it's important for people to protect their health when temperatures are high. One key strategy is stay hydrated. People are encouraged to drink six to eight glasses of water each day during warm spells. They are also encouraged to protect themselves from ultraviolet rays. Dr. Thomas Schenk, BlueCross BlueShield's senior vice president and chief medical officer, noted that UV ray exposure can cause skin cancer and other health problems.

"Ironically, for all our skin does to protect us, many of us do little to protect it," said Schenk.

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