Summer Safety: Surviving the Heat
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jun 20, 2019 in Personal Injury
Hot Car Deaths
A record 52 children died in hot cars in 2018 — the worst record in two decades. It takes minutes to put a child’s life in danger by leaving them behind in a hot car. Do not be fooled by your temperature gauge either. A 70-degree day could be just as deadly as a 100-degree day.
According to the National Weather Service, the inside of a car can heat up twenty degrees in ten minutes, rapidly rising to 50 degrees in an hour. Adding to the severity of the situation: a child’s body temperature warms up three to five times faster than an adult. Never leave a child or pet behind if you have to run an errand. It could be deadly.
Good Samaritan Law
In Arizona, heat is especially deadly because of our extreme summer temperatures. In order to protect all children and pets who are left in hot cars — accidentally or intentionally, a new law was implemented in May 2017. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2494, which allows a Good Samaritan to break a car window to rescue a child or pet. Before you step in to help, follow these steps in order to protect yourself from civil liability.
- Call 911 or animal control
- Check for unlocked doors
- Stay with pet/child until authorities arrive
Hydrate In the Heat
In Arizona, we cannot always avoid the outdoors when the temperature is toasty (as much as we would like to). Many of us work outside or have to attend outdoor birthday parties, festivals or sporting events. Preparing your body for outdoor activities is critical in order to avoid heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Drink plenty of water and keep your body temperature as cool as possible. Know the signs before it is too late.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:
- Pale, moist skin
- Muscle cramps
- Fatigue, weakness
- Headache, dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
Heat Exhaustion 101
Heat exhaustion is your body’s reaction to the excessive loss of water and salt. It is important to act fast because heat exhaustion can quickly turn into heat stroke. You can cool your body’s temperature by finding shade/an air-conditioned room, drinking water, taking a shower, and applying wet towels to the skin.
Heat Stroke Symptoms:
- Body temperature above 103 degrees
- Flushed, dry and hot skin
- No sweating
- Rapid breathing
- Headache, dizziness, confusion
- Convulsions or fainting
Heat Stroke 101
If you believe someone is showing symptoms of heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Heat stoke can be life-threatening and cause severe organ damage. Until help arrives, try to safely cool the person’s body temperature to 101 degrees. Do NOT force them to drink fluids or allow them to take pain relievers.
Always Protect Yourself
If excessive heat is in the forecast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends limiting time outdoors — especially from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — the hottest part of the day. Always hydrate, wear sunscreen and loose, lightweight clothing.
Heat illnesses are not always self-inflicted. If you have suffered a personal injury as the result of someone’s negligence, Phillips Law Group is here to review your case, seeking the compensation you deserve to recover from your injuries.