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Arizona Heat Awareness Week: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones

heat-awareness

As summer approaches, bringing with it soaring temperatures, Arizona Heat Awareness Week serves as a crucial reminder of the dangers posed by extreme heat. Heat-related deaths are a serious issue, with more fatalities annually than tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and lightning combined. This week is dedicated to educating the public on how to stay safe during periods of excessive heat.

The Dangers of a Hot Car

One of the most preventable tragedies during the hot months involves vehicles. It's important to understand just how quickly a car can heat up, even on a day that doesn't seem excessively hot. For example, if the outside temperature is a seemingly mild 80 degrees, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket to 99 degrees in just 10 minutes and reach a deadly 123 degrees within an hour.

The infographic provided by weather.gov and nhtsa.gov illustrates this rapid increase in temperature, emphasizing the campaign's slogan: "Heat Related Deaths Are Preventable - LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK." This message is crucial, reminding everyone to check their vehicles for infants, children, or pets before locking up and walking away.

Preventative Measures

Here are several steps you can take to protect yourself and others during Arizona's heat season:

  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car: Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside a car can reach lethal levels quickly.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to keep your body cool and hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as these can lead to dehydration.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: Lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing helps keep body temperatures down.
  • Stay indoors during peak heat: Limit your exposure to the sun, especially during the hottest part of the day, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool down and can dehydrate you. Apply sunscreen if you're going to be outdoors.
  • Check on others: During extreme heat, check on elderly family members, neighbors, and others who may not have air conditioning.

Community Resources

Arizona communities provide resources such as cooling centers, which are especially important for those without effective home cooling systems. Additionally, local health departments often offer heat safety tools and information to help residents understand and combat the risks associated with heatwaves.

Awareness and Education

Awareness campaigns like Arizona Heat Awareness Week are vital in spreading the word about heat safety and preventing heat-related incidents. By staying informed and prepared, Arizonans can enjoy the sunny days while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe from the dangers of extreme heat.
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Saturday, 22 June 2024

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