How to stay safe during the hot Arizona summers: Tips to stay cool, safe when it's hot out

Arizonans know it gets hot this time of year; it's expected, and is just part of living in the desert.

However, that heat can still sneak up on people and have a serious impact which is why it's critical to prepare and most importantly be aware of how your body is reacting, especially your children.

ABC15 spoke with Phoenix Fire Captain Jonathan Jacobs who said crews make a few changes this time of year.

"All of our trucks, we have a cooler packed with ice and some small towels that we place in the critical areas of a patient such as neck, groin and armpit areas," said Jacobs while standing next to a fire rescue vehicle showing the items. "We also ice down our IV bags that's for critical situations to get those cool fluids flowing immediately."

The heat also poses several health risks for children, the elderly and pets. Below are some tips to stay safe during the hottest part of the year.

  • Pay special attention to young children and the elderly. They are vulnerable in the heat as they may not communicate if they're feeling overheated or if something is wrong.
  • Is your child sweating? Not sweating when its hot out, or outside, is a major concern for medical help, according to Jacobs.

"If you or your child or someone is not sweating, that means your body is no longer cooling itself, at that point, there's danger and it's time to call for help," he said.

  • Double-check your child's coloring. If the skin is red, it may be time to come inside. Make sure to drink water and use sun protection.

"A couple safe things to do at home to start with get them inside, start to cool them with some cooling rags, put them on the neck, the armpit areas, the groin and instead of cold water just splashing them, a fan and spray bottle, and just mist them kind of like we see with pro athletes," said Jacobs.

While these tips and information can help, Jacobs makes it clear, don't be afraid to make the call for help.

"You can do things at home safely, but this (heat) isn't something to mess with, if you have concerns, call your doctor, call 911, that's what we do, our goal is simple, to help people and people need to help themselves by taking preventative steps."

As for preventative steps, Jacobs says firefighters prepare ahead of time by staying hydrated and eating an drinking plenty of water.

"Best thing to remember, for every 15 minutes you're out in this kind of heat, you should drink 16 ounces of water or two cups," said Jacobs.

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