• Extreme heat facts and tips for coping in Phoenix

    Extreme heat facts and tips for coping in Phoenix

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It’s easy to be overcome by the heat when temperatures soar in the Phoenix area.

Heat-related illness doesn’t always hit suddenly. It comes in stages, so people should be aware of what to look for in themselves and others.

Here are some of the signs to watch out for during periods of extreme heat.


Sweat is normal. It cools the body through evaporation.

When sweat doesn’t cool the body enough, people can suffer heat-related illnesses.


Be sure to drink water.

Most people need at least two liters, or about two quarts, per day when it’s hot. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.

Drinking water at this stage of heat-related illness can head off more serious symptoms.


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Cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. The loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes heat cramps.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exert themselves in warm, humid places where sweat doesn’t evaporate efficiently. Fluid loss causes blood flow to decrease in the vital organs, resulting in a form of shock.

Signs include cool, moist, pale, flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.

Heat stroke

Heat stroke, the most serious form of heat-related illness, is life-threatening.

The body’s temperature control system stops working. Body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly

Signs include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing and seizures. Body temperature can be very high (up to 105 degrees).


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Source: Arizona Department of Health Services


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