CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — When it comes to the sun, it can be your best friend, but only if you know how to protect yourself, your children and your pets when it shines a little too bright.

“Being cautious with your children. They are not going to pay attention as much that they are getting overheated. They are going to get out there and they are going to be playing and having fun. You need to monitor them,” Jonathan Evans, with the Kanawha County Ambulance Authority said.

Another tip is to check the surfaces your children are playing on beforehand.

“Making sure it is not too hot. If it has been in direct sunlight the metal pieces of playground may be hot to the touch,” Evans said.

If you are taking your child to the park and you want to check the temperature of the slide, use the back of your hand, so you don’t get other burns.

You should also keep your eyes on pets if you have them. Like most animals, dogs do not sweat, and overheating can come out as panting heavily, drooling, or acting restless.

“They cannot tolerate it like we can. They do not sweat. They pant and they look for cool surfaces and that is the way they dissipate body heat and if their system gets overwhelmed by the heat and the humidity that’s present now, it’s just not a good thing,” Amy Keith, Veterinarian at Valley West Veterinary Hospital said.

Keith says she also gets concerned when people take their pets to events like Live on the Levee.

“A lot of times like in the city, for instance, I get concerned about the Haddad Riverfront Park sometimes because there’s a lot of concrete there and the sun just bakes off that,” Keith said.

People should also wear sunscreen and apply it often while doing outdoor activities.