• GS Southern Arizona

The heat is on! 3 tips for a safe summer in Arizona

As Arizonans we know the summer heat can get to dangerous levels. For volunteers, this means staying abreast of the signs and signals of heat exhaustion to avoid dangerous situations while outdoors.

Here are a few top tips to ensure your girls are safe in the Arizona heat this summer:

  • Plan activities for the early morning and evening. Avoid being outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun is the hottest.

  • Keep water with you. Pack extra bottles in case of an emergency.

  • Tip: A good general recommendation is about a half liter of water per hour of moderate activity in moderate temperatures. You may need to increase how much you drink as the temperature and intensity of the activity rise.

  • Wear sunscreen. Make sunscreen part of your morning routine.

  • Tip: Here's how to calculate the amount of SPF you will need: Take the time you would normally burn in the sun without protection, 20 minutes will normally produce redness on a light skinned individual. Multiply this number by the SPF of your product. Example: with an SPF 15 x 20 minutes of sun time = 300 … is how many minutes you can stay in the sun without burning.

  • Before venturing outside, ensure that you and your girls are fully protected including hats, sunglasses, long sleeve lightweight tops and sunscreen.

Heat cramps, exhaustion and even heat stroke are not uncommon in Arizona. Here are some symptoms to look for when diagnosing a heat-related illness:

  • Muscle spasms or cramps

  • Cold sweat

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Flushed cheeks

  • Nausea, headache, upset stomach or vomiting, and dizziness

  • Hot, dry red skin, dizziness and confusion

  • Rapid weak pulse

  • Rapid shallow breathing

When in doubt, never compromise on safety! Always have the phone number of your local emergency department (and forest service if outdoors hiking) on hand in case of emergency.

Stay safe Girl Scouts!

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