Opinion

Berg: Take precautions against heat-related illness this summer in Arizona

Posted 5/26/22

Brutal summer heat can be more than just unpleasant. If you don’t take precautions, it can cause illness and even death.

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Opinion

Berg: Take precautions against heat-related illness this summer in Arizona

Posted

Brutal summer heat can be more than just unpleasant. If you don’t take precautions, it can cause illness and even death.

To highlight the importance of staying safe during extreme heat, Gov. Doug Ducey has proclaimed May 23-27 as Heat Awareness Week.

ADHS, the National Weather Service, and the Phoenix Office of Heat Response and Mitigation are joining forces to mark this important week. We want you to learn how to protect yourself and others from the heat and sun when spending time outdoors.

High temperatures increase the risk for heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. In 2021, Arizona had 2,873 heat-related illness emergency department visits and 552 heat-related deaths. This is regrettable, since heat-related illness is preventable.

To protect yourself and your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, please follow this link to learn about things you can do to prevent, recognize, and treat a heat-related illness, including drinking more water than usual and staying informed of upcoming heat warnings so that you can plan activities accordingly.

If possible, avoid the worst heat by staying in an air-conditioned space. It is important to know about resources like the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps those with limited incomes pay their energy bills. 

If you are in the Phoenix metropolitan area and unable to cool off at home, please visit one of the area’s cooling centers.

An Arizona Heat Awareness Week website in English and Spanish helps partners share critical information.

We encourage you to post and share content on social media using the hashtags #AZHeat and #AZwx.

Messages will help remind family, friends and visitors about ways to stay safe in the heat while still enjoying the best of what Arizona has to offer.

Editor’s note: Carla Berg is deputy director for public health services at the Arizona Department of Health Services. Visit azdhs.gov.

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