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Arizonans urged to protect themselves from summer heat

It’s that time of year again.

The heat is back, temperatures are expected to be around 108 degrees on Sunday and officials are urging Arizonans to take extra precautions to stay cool.

When the weather gets hot, Valley emergency rooms get a little crowded.

“Last year, we saw about 2,500 hospital visits from a heat-related illnesses and about 500 hospital emissions,” said Mathew Roach, Environmental Epidemiologist for the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Roach said, when things get hot, there are three things you should remember to do.

“Stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed,” he said. “Drink plenty of water, go into an air-conditioned building and be informed of upcoming weather alerts by listening to your radio about heat warnings that are upcoming.”

Roach said people should stay away from alcoholic beverages and “sugary” drinks.

“Water, water,water,” he said. “Drink two cups of water before, during and after any activity in the heat. You can’t just drink it after doing any kind of physical activity. It’s not going to keep your body safe.”

Roach advised using SPF 30 sunscreen and to limit outside activities to the coolest part of the day if possible.

If you don’t have air conditioning, or can’t keep cool in your home for any other reason, there are several cooling centers that you can go to around the Valley. To find out where they are, click here.