Arizona is known for its warm and sunny summers. During the summer months, temperatures can get well up into the 100s, and the sun also stays up in the sky for more than half the day. This makes summertime in Arizona an experience that words can fail to describe. That doesn’t mean we can’t detail some summer heat tips that’ll keep you cool. Well, as cool as you can be in an Arizona summer.
These summer heat tips are very important because of what can happen if you are not prepared for the intense weather. Things like dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke are all risks during the summer. Thankfully, we have some tips to beat the heat and avoid these risks. Whether you’re visiting the Grand Canyon State for a big vacation or just recently moved here from another state, keep these summer heat tips in mind to beat the Phoenix heat as best you can.
Know the signs of heat illness
Heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps, can all happen if you stay out in the sun too long without relief or proper hydration. All can be life-threatening if left untreated. This makes it very important to know the signs so you can act before it gets worse.
Heatstroke, or sunstroke, is the most serious of these heat-related illnesses. Heatstroke makes the body’s temperature control system stop working. This means you can’t cool yourself down by sweating. Common signs include hot, red, and dry skin, fading in and out of consciousness, a weak pulse, and rapid, shallow breaths. If you notice these signs, dial 911 immediately and try to cool down the person immediately by any means possible.
Heat exhaustion occurs when you overexert yourself in a warm, humid environment like the Phoenix heat. When this happens, you lose a lot of bodily fluids through heavy sweating. This results in decreased blood flow to vital organs and, eventually, shock. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headaches, heavy sweating, pale, flushed, red skin, and general exhaustion. If you notice these signs, stop what you’re doing to rest and drink lots of water.
Heat cramps are muscle spasms and pains that result from heavy exertion. They happen the most in the abdominal muscles or the legs. Heat cramps are caused by a loss of water and salt from intense sweating. So, if you feel your abdomen or legs cramping up in the Phoenix heat, hydrate yourself with some water.
These will be some of the most important summer heat tips we can give you that directly affect your health and wellbeing.
Drink more water than you think
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is very important to beating the Phoenix heat and preventing heat-related illness. It’s recommended that adults drink anywhere from 10 to 15 cups of water a day. But you should drink a lot more if you plan on enjoying all Arizona has to offer in the summer. This is especially true if you’re going out into the wilderness on a hike, bike ride, backpacking trip, or some other adventure. Wherever you go, be sure to take plenty of water with you!
Stay cool in the car
Did you know that car interiors can easily reach upwards of 150 degrees in the Phoenix heat? This can happen even if you leave the windows cracked. You should never leave kids or pets in the car, even if you think you’ll be just a minute in the store. Also, look for a shady spot to park whenever you can. We also recommend giving your car a little time to air out by opening the doors and putting the A/C on the lowest setting so the air can get cool before you drive off.
Watch out for flash floods
In addition to knowing the signs of heat illness, you should also watch out for flash floods. This is one of the most important summer heat tips we can give you because it may save your life. The Phoenix area can experience monsoons in the latter half of summer, and downpours can be very sudden. Intense rain can be as quick as five minutes or last hours. The ground in this area doesn’t absorb water well, so travel carefully and avoid standing water, especially when on the roads.
Try to avoid going outdoors in the afternoons
The sun is at its highest point in the afternoon. This can make temperatures soar into the 100s. We recommend that you try and avoid being outside in the Phoenix heat for a long time between 10 am and 4 pm. It might be a little annoying to schedule your errands and things around the weather, but it’ll be well worth it.
Thermostat best practices
Many people will crank up the A/C in their homes so it’s a cool oasis, but few consider what HVAC experts have to say first. Most recommend setting your home’s temperature to around 78 degrees and turning it up a little when you leave so you can save some money. Also, close your blinds and pull the curtains closed when you leave your home to keep the sun’s heat out of your home and use fans alongside your A/C system to help things stay cool. You should also change your air filters every month to keep your system running clean and efficient. This will also allow for more air to flow, helping keep things cool.
Have questions about your sun care routine? Ask a primary care physician at denova Collaborative Healthcare and get the answers you need so you can get the most out of your summer. Book an appointment with a virtual provider today!