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  • Protect yourself in 100-plus degree temperatures

    May 29, 2015 | Read More News
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    Pima County is expecting its first triple-digit temperatures this weekend, and it is important for Pima County residents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families from heat-related illnesses associated with 100-plus degree weather.

    The risk of becoming sick from extremely hot temperatures is higher in Arizona than in any other state in the country, and in Pima County, the highest number of heat-related illnesses and deaths occur in the month of June. If temperatures this June are similar to those in recent years, statistics show that:
    1. About 80 Arizonans will visit an emergency department for heat-related illness and at least 15 of them will be hospitalized for heat stroke.
    2. Up to 10 additional people will require emergency rescue due to extreme heat exposure from hiking or other wilderness activities.
    3. One or more Arizonans will die from heat exposure.
    Fortunately, if proper precautions are followed, all heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented. Here are some tips to help stay safe in the summer heat:
    • Stay hydrated. June is not only our hottest month, it is also one of the driest. Drink water before you get thirsty, to prevent dehydration and help your body cope with the heat.
    • Limit outdoor activities, including gardening or home maintenance, to the cooler early morning hours.
    • If your job is outdoors, remember to drink water every 15 minutes throughout your work day. Take breaks in the shade or other cool area. Wear a hat and light- colored clothing.
    • Prescription medications, including diuretics and some drugs for mental illness, lower the body’s ability to stay cool. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to understand whether your medications could affect your risk of heat-related illness.
    • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs because they can increase the risk of heat stroke and death.
    • Cars can quickly become death traps for children and pets during the summer. Even in the shade, the temperature inside a parked car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Never leave children, pets, or those requiring special care inside a parked car for even a minute.
    • Medicines can become damaged, or even harmful, when exposed to temperatures over 85 degrees. Mailboxes can reach extremely high temperatures during the summer months and many people receive important prescription medications through the mail. Retrieve medication shipments from your mailbox promptly and place them where the temperature is cooler. And don’t leave prescription or over-the counter medicines in the car after purchase.
    • Check on neighbors, friends, and family, especially the elderly. Be sure they have sufficient cooling and that they are able to stay hydrated.
    • Do not leave people with limited mobility, including those in wheelchairs, unattended outdoors.