Six Tips to Avoid Heat Stroke
When the thermometer hits 103+ degrees outside, people are at high risk of suffering heat-related illnesses: sunburn, heat exhaustion, and the worst—heat stroke. This extreme condition occurs when your internal body temperature rises to 104 degrees. Brain damage, organ failure, and death are very real dangers. (Around 1,300 people have died from heat-related injuries in Arizona, alone, between 2005–2015.) So please, take steps to protect yourself!
As we—Mark and Alexis Breyer, the Husband and Wife Law Team—recently told the SanTan Sun News, “Caution is key when dealing with the Arizona heat!”
Our advice for beating the boiling temperatures made it into their July 1st edition—which you can read right here! But we want to share these tips with you, regardless of whether you picked up the newspaper.
- Drink plenty of water. Hot weather calls for more water—at least 2 liters per day if you’re staying indoors, and 1–2 liters per HOUR outdoors. Maricopa County has set up summer hydration stations to promote this healthy habit. When filing up with water, don’t neglect your salt (electrolyte) levels, which can become unbalanced if you over-hydrate yourself. Avoid alcohol and caffeine; they both dehydrate you.
- Wear loose clothing. Lightweight, light-colored clothing will allow sweat to evaporate and your skin to breathe. Wear hats and sunglasses, use umbrellas, and walk in the shade whenever possible.
- Apply sunscreen. And do it again. Sunburn takes less time than you think. Though getting sunburned does vary based on your skin tone, it can happen in as fast as 15 minutes. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun and every two hours after that. Protect your skin from the risk of cancer (which increases every time you get sunburned).
- Don’t leave children or animals in the car, even for ten minutes. Here’s an alarming trend: in 2016, CNN reported that hot car deaths rose from the year before. It’s now 2017, and already 18 children have been killed by vehicle-related hyperthermia (high body temperature) across the United States—and every one of those deaths was preventable. Don’t EVER take the chance.
- If you want to exercise, do it sensibly. Take that jog in the morning or evening; the coolest times possible. Drink lots of water! You can lose up to 4 liters by exercising in the heat. Keep up your electrolyte levels as well. If you feel dizzy or your body cramps, stop immediately and get help. Pima County offers Summer Sun Respite stations and Yuma County does as well.
- Stay inside if it’s just too hot. As Mark and Alexis commented, “Sometimes, people underestimate the intensity of the Arizona summer heat and attempt to do some form of physical activity…it is just too hot to escape heat stroke when it is the peak temperature of the day.” So crank up the AC, wrap a wet towel around your head, and just relax on a (non-leather) couch until it’s safe to go outside.
Follow this simple advice, and you and your family can stay “cool” in our hot Arizona summer! Legal questions about heat stroke? Talk to The Husband and Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., by calling (602) 267-1280.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer