Here’s how to protect yourself from Arizona’s summer heat

Jul 5, 2021, 7:00 AM | Updated: 6:57 pm

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — This year’s summer temperatures are already proving to be deadly with multiple heat deaths reported so far in Maricopa County.

That’s why Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, Maricopa County medical director for disease control, is reminding people of ways to stay safe during the summer heat.

“It’s important for people who exercise outdoors to keep it to those early morning hours, taking frequent breaks in the shade and staying really hydrated,” she said.

Sunenshine also recommends never leaving kids or pets in the car, not relying on a fan as the primary source of air and wearing loose clothes made out of breathable fabrics like cotton.

As of June 30, Maricopa County had recorded nine deaths related to or caused by the heat. Another 75 deaths were being investigated to see if they were heat-associated deaths.

Many of the deaths being investigated occurred during the hottest week of June, when the Valley experienced a heatwave and temperatures reached 118 degrees.

Seven of the nine people who died from the heat were indoors, which Sunenshine said is quite common.

“It’s often related to having air conditioning that is not functioning or that people have not turned up to save money,” she said.

“That’s why we’re really asking that people check on their neighbors and their loved ones to make sure that their air conditioning is functioning and turned on, and that they’re doing okay.”

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Here’s how to protect yourself from Arizona’s summer heat