Staying healthy in the Phoenix summer heat can sometimes be easier said than done. With temperatures well over 100 degrees outside, extra precautions for outdoor activities are a must. We’ve put together some tips for staying well in the heat this summer!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Planning to drink your water each day is always a good idea, but if you’re going to be out in the Phoenix sun, you’re going to need more than your usual 8 cups of water.
With low humidity levels and high temperatures, you may be surprised how easily you can become dehydrated. Often, sweat will evaporate almost as soon as it leaves your body, misleading you to believe you’re not losing that much water. This is why it’s so important to continue to drink water throughout the day.
If you hike, hike early and hike smart!
Hiking is a great way to stay active, get exercise, and reap all the benefits of the great outdoors. However, during the Phoenix summers, hiking can be a dangerous activity if you’re unprepared. Therefore, it’s best to go early, long before the heat of the day and make sure you take more than enough water to hydrate throughout your entire hike. Always take a cell phone with you, stay on designated trails, dress lightly, and on extremely hot days, leave your pets at home.
Never leave anyone (children, pets, or otherwise) in the car!
During Phoenix summer heat, the interior of a sitting car rises quickly. According to the Phoenix Fire Department, that interior temperature can reach 138 degrees in as little as five minutes and 150 degrees or higher in 15 minutes – even with the windows cracked.Those are temperatures dangerous to anyone’s health, so you should never leave anyone waiting in the care, even for “just a minute”.
Watch out for bees!
In Phoenix, bugs and insects have a tendency to come out at night, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for where you step after the sun sets. However, summer and bee season go hand in hand. That said, use caution when doing any sort of landscaping to avoid clipping a nest or encountering a swarm. If you do encounter a swarm of bees, run in a straight line to the nearest building, car, or shed and close the door. If you get stung multiple times, seek medical attention.
Be aware of the signs of heat illnesses!
While a heat stroke can be serious and even life-threatening, there are several warning signs along the way that make heat strokes preventable.
Being thirsty is one of the first signs your body is becoming dehydrated. When you become thirsty, go indoors and drink water to hydrate.
Cramping, pain and spams in your abdominal muscles and legs can mean that you are losing too much water and salt. Drink water and go indoors.
Signs you may be entering dangerous territory include “cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion.” The confusing part is that your body temperature may be normal. If you experience these symptoms it is vital you get inside a cool environment and drink half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes until you improve.
During a heat stroke, body temperature spikes and can result in damage to your brain and internal organs. Other signs of a heat stroke include “hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing.” If you or someone you know begins to experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Phoenix is a wonderful place, but summer heat can be intense. Being prepared and aware of symptoms can help you stay well and have fun this summer!