Phew! The heat is on in Phoenix this summer! We don’t know about you, but we are over it. According to CBS 5 AZ news, “Valley heat is blasting its way into the record books as Phoenix bakes under an excessive heat warning…This is the 18th day of 110+ degree heat so far in 2015”. While we may be complaining about excessive sweating or being uncomfortable in our cars, the realness of heat-related illness becomes prevalent during times like these. The human body is not able to cool itself down quickly enough outside during the summer, which can cause heat stroke and other (sometimes fatal) problems. Here are some tips for staying cool in Phoenix heat and avoiding illness!
Tips for Staying Cool in Phoenix Heat
1. Cover the Windows
Whether it’s leaving your blinds closed when you go to bed so that the sun doesn’t warm up your home and strain your AC unit, or if it’s installing window protectors for your car’s back windows to protect your passengers, any coverage helps in the Phoenix heat!
2. Drink Fluids All Day
Trick yourself into drinking lots of water by mixing it up throughout the day! Try ice tea or iced coffee in the early parts of the day. We love our afternoon iced “fruit water” with anything from kiwis to lemons in it! However you do it, make sure you and your family is drinking ‘too much’ water all day so that no one gets light headed or fatigued in the heat! However, avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol as they actually cause you to dehydrate faster.
3. Avoid Direct Sun
This is a no brainer in our list of tips for staying cool in Phoenix heat! The hottest parts of the day are 11am to 4 or 5 pm. We recommend parking close to your destinations, doing outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the evening, and limiting the long pool days! Your skin will thank you- either for immediately avoiding an uncomfortable sunburn or for later lessening your chances of skin cancer.
4. Take Cool Showers
Ironically, in Phoenix during the summer, we usually have to wait for our shower to ‘cool down’ instead of the opposite, before hopping in! Try turning down the temperature for a relaxing and calming cool shower! Lowering your body temperature before going outside to start your day (or finish your day) will help regulate your core for the rest of the day…or at least give you a refreshing head start!
5. Inform Others!
Everyone knows the discomfort of the Phoenix heat, but not everyone knows how to prepare their bodies to be outside in it! Keep in mind that people over 65 years old, infants and toddlers, those with mental illness, and those with heart disease or high blood pressure are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
Signs of Heat-Related Health Problems
- Headache, nausea, fatigue (all signs of heat stress)
- Heat fatigue: cool, moist skin, weakened pulse, feeling faint
- Heat syncope: dizziness, paleness, cool, but sweaty skin, weakened pulse, and rapid heart rate
- Heat exhaustion: giddiness, weakness, thirst, lack of coordination, nausea, and sweating (even if the body isn’t showing a higher recorded temperature)
- Heat stroke: *life-threatening* body temperature rises, confusion, bizarre behavior, inability to complete normal motor functions, rapid pulse, delirium, widened pupils, dry skin