Phoenix’s excessive heat can pose a danger to young, old and even healthy

Jul 11, 2019, 11:15 AM | Updated: 11:19 am

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – As excessive heat rolls into metro Phoenix, doctors and first responders say drinking water – lots of it – is one of the best deterrents to suffering a heat-related illness.

Last year, 181 people in and around the Valley died of heat-related conditions, according to a report from the Maricopa Association of Governments. It was the most heat-caused deaths in 13 years.

An excessive heat warning was issued for the Valley and other parts of Arizona for Thursday through Saturday. Temperatures were expected to reach from 110 to 113 degrees during that span.

“I would say Phoenicians, in general, know how to deal with heat,” Dan Quan, an emergency physician at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Visitors, the elderly, immobile people and those without air conditioning “are the ones at higher risk,” Quan said.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; change in skin tone; dizziness; and cool and moist skin, the Arizona Department of Health Services listed online.

Symptoms of life-threatening heat stroke include a throbbing headache; no sweat; dry, hot skin; nausea and vomiting; high body temperature and loss of consciousness, Phoenix Fire Capt. Kenny Overton told KTAR News.

A lack of sweating in excessive heat is a sign that body’s mechanism to cool itself isn’t working.

“If you see (the obvious symptoms) happening to somebody, it’s imperative you call 911 immediately and do everything you can to cool the person until we arrive,” Overton said.

Quan said applying cold compresses or spritzes of water on the skin will help cool down an overheated person.

First responders see many cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke during this type of weather, Overton said.

“We like to say if you feel thirsty, you’re already behind the hydration curve. Avoid drinks with sugar, alcohol and caffeine,” he said.

Avoiding direct sun on the skin can reduce the body’s heat index by a significant amount, Quan said.

If you are going to be outdoors exerting yourself, Overton suggested planning those activities for the coolest part of the day and limiting the duration.

“Take frequent breaks,” he said. “And drink (water) before, during and after activities. A lot more than usual,” the fire department veteran said.

Other tips to stay well during extremely hot weather include:

  • Wearing light-colored clothing
  • Covering up arms and legs
  • Wearing a hat or other head protection
  • Slow down

A list of heat relief stations in the Valley – some are hydration stations, some are heat refuges (cooled indoor sites) – can be found at the county’s website.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

An artist's rendering of Toll at Cavasson — a 136-unit townhome development in north Scottsdale b...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Toll Brothers files plans for new luxury townhomes at Scottsdale mixed-use campus

Toll Brothers Inc. has submitted an application to the city of Scottsdale to bring luxury townhomes within the Cavasson development.

13 minutes ago

Scottsdale Quarter water fountain...

Payne Moses

15-year celebration: Scottsdale Quarter undergoing major facelift, adding several tenants

Scottsdale Quarter is ringing in its 15th anniversary with major property redevelopment and the addition of several tenants, the shopping center announced Thursday.

59 minutes ago

Burning building...

Arizona man guilty of arson and hate crimes for burning two churches in May 2023

A 58-year-old man was declared guilty of all six arson and hate crimes for the burning of two Douglas churches on May 22, 2023, authorities said Thursday.

11 hours ago

A 19-year-old died and another man was hospitalized after a shooting at an apartment complex in Ahw...

Suspect sought in Ahwatukee shooting that killed 19-year-old, injured another

One man died and another was hospitalized after a shooting in Ahwatukee early Friday morning, the Phoenix Police Department said.

11 hours ago

This image, made from a video provided by Arizona's Family, shows damage caused by the Watch Fire o...

Associated Press

California reports 1st wildfire death of the 2024 season as fires persist across the West

Wildfires fueled by strong winds and an extended heat wave have led to the first death in California of the 2024 season.

12 hours ago

Marana Police vehicle...

Arizona father arrested, charged in hot car death of 2-year-old daughter at own residence

A 2-year-old girl was pronounced dead Tuesday after she was left in a car at a Marana residence, officials said in a Friday press release.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Phoenix’s excessive heat can pose a danger to young, old and even healthy