The Heat is On

Sonoran_desert_sunsetThe lowest “high” temperature expected in the Phoenix area over the next week is 105 degrees! The sweltering heat isn’t limited to the valley area either, as much of the state is expecting triple digit temps.

From the Phoenix Business Journal:

The National Weather Service expects temperatures to hit between 107 and 111 degrees over the next couple of days in Phoenix and its suburbs.

Temperatures could hit as high as 115 in areas such as Yuma, Palm Springs and California’s Imperial Valley near the Mexico border.

The hot weather could extend into the weekend.

That creates strains on workers and businesses with outside jobs and operations. It also presents health dangers to them and the region’s homeless and transient populations.

Drinking plenty of water when it gets this hot may seem like a no-brainer…..but according to AzFamily.com, “In 2014, 12,743 Arizonans who visited emergency rooms were diagnosed with dehydration, according to a study by the Center for Population Health and Discovery at the University of Arizona.”

Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, a difficulty to quench thirst, weakness and worse.

“The first stage is that they are thirsty,” said Matt Lucht, a head athletic trainer at Glendale Community College. “They take a drink of water and it still doesn’t quench their thirst. The second sign is during a workout their sweat rate will decrease. They begin to stop sweating because they have run out of fluids and your body is trying to conserve fluid.

“That’s how dehydration plays into heat-related illnesses because if you’re not sweating, your body can’t cool. Then after that, you start to get light-headed, dizzy and headaches.”

A recent story on AzCentral.com pointed out that the heat has been blamed for more than 30 deaths in Maricopa County alone over the past few months. “Heat was a factor in at least 33 deaths in Maricopa County so far this summer, and 127 more cases are being investigated as possible heat-associated deaths, according to a report from the county’s Department of Public Health.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) listed several tips on its website to help people stay healthy through this scorching stretch of weather, including:

  • Drink water. Even people that stay mostly indoors all day should drink at least 2 liters of water per day. People that spend time outdoors should drink 1 to 2 liters per hour that they are outdoors. You should carry water with you and drink even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Always apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Stay indoors when possible.
  • Take regular breaks when engaged in physical activity on warm days.

Share your thoughts on how we can ‘beat the heat’ and let us know if there are some tips you have to stay cool when the mercury rises. Working with our partners to give Arizonans the information they need to make healthy decisions is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

 

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