Heat-related Illnesses and the Importance of Hydration

Contributing Author: Dr. Gary Kirkilas, Phoenix Children’s Hospital 

As the summer heat rises here in Phoenix, community members and UMOM clients alike should remember that Heat Stroke is a very serious condition that occurs when the temperature in our body rises to dangerous levels. However, heat stroke can be avoided by following some simple hydration and safety tips to keep you cool and safe.

  • UMOM is an official Hydration Station a part of the Maricopa County’s Heat Relief Network.
    • This means that anyone in the community who needs a cool and shaded place to escape the heat or is in need of water, may come to UMOM.
    • UMOM actively collects cases of bottled water to provide to community members and clients on campus.
  • Try to limit your time outdoors, especially young children and older adults. Heat stroke can occur in as little as an hour here. Whenever you are outside, try to find a shaded area.
  • Never a leave a child or pet in a parked car, even for a minute, as the temperature rises rapidly in cars.
  • It is optimal for children to be dressed in loose, light-colored clothing during the summer heat.
  • Signs of Heat Stroke include: feeling faint or tired, headache, confusion, rapid breathing, feeling nauseous or throwing up. You should seek medical attention immediately.
  • Try to maintain a goal of drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Children should drink water before and during any activity. Babies less than 6 months old should only drink breast milk or formula.