PHOENIX — Maricopa County has already announced its first heat-related death of the year. Temperatures are set to climb again, possibly reaching 117 degrees soon.
Make sure to pre-hydrate before going on any outdoor adventurers. Phoenix Fire Captain Todd Keller says that means drinking water, not sugary sports drinks, "before, during and after the activity."
Common Heat-Related Symptoms Include
- Heavy sweating
- Shallow breathing
- Rapid but weakened pulse rate
- If heat exhaustion is left untreated, it may progress to heatstroke, a severe form of heat illness.
If someone's heat-related symptoms include a mixture of clamminess, a lack of sweat, skin hot to the touch, someone should call 911 while trying to cool the victim off.
You'll also want to avoid the trails during the middle of the day, no matter how fit or how experienced.
“Go in the early parts of the morning or the later parts of the day,” Captain Keller said.
Whenever you do go, be sure to wear looser clothing, light colors, and good shoes. Also, bring a charged cell phone.
“You might be on that mountain for an hour, two hours. So it’s always important to have that phone charged before you hit the trail,” Captain Keller said.
For those who don’t adhere to these safety precautions, you are increasing your risk of heat-related illness, including heatstroke and, in some cases, death, according to Captain Keller.
In some instances, first responders may be required to give you fluids through an IV and big-wheel or airlift the victim off the mountain. This puts everyone, including first responders, at risk.