How to beat the dangerous Arizona heat this summer

Grace Lieberman

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By Grace Lieberman / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ

The heat of Arizona summers is a dangerous, and even deadly, safety threat.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 1,800 heat caused emergency department visits and 412 hospitalizations in 2021. In the last ten years, 2,700 deaths have occured from heat exposure in Arizona.

2020 data from the National Weather Service said that of the 51 head-related deaths reported that year in the US, 38 were in Arizona. NWS also reported that heat has the highest 30-year average for weather fatalities.

Heat can be dangerous even for locals, but there’s measures to take to protect against heat exhaustion.

These are some ways you can protect yourself against the summer heat this year:

Hydration is key

Even if you’re staying in all day, drinking water and getting enough electrolytes is essential to staying healthy during the hot summer. According to ADHS, you should drink at least 2 liters of water a day if you’re staying indoors and 1 to 2 liters per hour when you go outdoors.

ADHS also recommends eating small meals more often and avoiding high protein foods that increase metabolic heat or alcohol which can speed up dehydration.

Choose what you wear wisely

When you’re going out in the heat, it’s best to wear lightweight and light colored clothing that will reflect away some of the sun’s rays. Sunscreen and shade devices like hats and umbrellas are also great tools to stay safe.

Try to take it easy

Summer is a time for being active, but ADHS recommends staying inside as much as possible. Those who do go out should only do strenuous activities in the early morning when it’s cool outside and always bring water. Frequent breaks in a cool place are also a must.

Keep an eye out

Frequently check in to make sure you and those with you aren’t experiencing any symptoms of a heat-related illness. If you or someone else does start showing symptoms of a heat-related illness, stop all activity and find a cool place to rest.

You should also check on friends, family and neighbors, especially infants and young children, to make sure they’re okay as well.

Heat exhaustion is dangerous and even deadly, especially in Arizona, but taking preventative measures and being aware of yourself and those around you can help avoid the severe consequences of Arizona’s summer heat.

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Grace Lieberman is a business, science and technology reporter based in Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ
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