Safety Tips for Extreme Heat

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 

Heat is the deadliest weather-related killer in Arizona. More than 100 people die in the state each year, on average, due to the heat, and about 2,000 end up in the emergency room, according to the state health department. Most of the deaths and illnesses are preventable, officials say. [Related: Heat Safety for Dogs]

Risk Factors | Prevention | Signs & Symptoms | Emergencies

How Heat Kills

Heat can kill anyone, even those who are extremely fit but who put themselves at risk on a hot day. Here’s what happens

Sweating keeps the body cool. But in extreme heat, even if one drinks plenty of water, sweating may not do the trick. “In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.”

Risk Factors

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. But “dry heat” can kill, too. While anyone can suffer heat stroke, the CDC cites these factors as presenting extra risk:

  • Infants and children up to age 4
  • People 65 years old and up
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill or on certain medications

Other risk factors include fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.


The National Weather Service offers the following advice during extreme heat events, and officials encourage people to check on the elderly and others who may need assistance:

  • Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars.
  • Drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine.
  • When outdoors, wear light colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your
    head and body cooler.
  • If you must be outside, take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments — consider public places with air conditioning, such as libraries, community centers, government buildings, malls, and special refuge stations.
  • Check car fluids, battery, tires and carry extra water in case of a break down or road closure.
  • During extreme heat events, the City of Phoenix advise against hiking.

Heat Illness: Signs & Symptoms

Heat can bring down even the fittest person of any age.Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.

Early symptoms of heat exaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, headache, thirst, muscle cramps, pale or clammy skin, rapid but weak pulse and fainting.

Severe symptoms indicating heat stroke include a throbbing headache, hot and red dry skin, fast and strong pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness.

Graphic courtesy City of Phoenix

Emergency Situations

If you see a child or pet trapped and in danger in a parked car on a hot day, Phoenix Police has this advice: “If you’re going to take action, call 9-1-1, take your action, then stick around for first responders to arrive.”

Likewise, if you or someone you know is suffering heat stroke, immediate medical care is vital. Call 9-1-1.

SOURCES: Arizona Department of Health Services; NWS; CDC; Maricopa County; City of Phoenix

Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
Staff Writers
North Phoenix News staff writers and editors often work together to produce articles like this one.

Staff Writers

North Phoenix News staff writers and editors often work together to produce articles like this one.

staffwriters has 375 posts and counting.See all posts by staffwriters