PHOENIX -- It's that time of year. For the next several days, Mother Nature is giving us a small taste of what the summer holds.
The heat brings certain health risks.
If you're going to be outdoors during the heat of the day, make sure you drink plenty of water. Dehydration can sneak up on you quickly and it has potentially deadly consequences.
Firefighters see this almost every day during the brutal Phoenix summers, particularly on popular hiking trails in the mountains.
"What people don't understand is that they are advanced mountains, but when you add the heat element into it, now all of a sudden they become very dangerous, especially if your body is not tuned to that." Capt. Jonathan Jacobs of the Phoenix Fire Department said. "Once you move into heat cramps and heat exhaustion, those can become life-threatening conditions."
Symptoms of dehydration include:
- thirst or a dry, sticky mouth,
- headache and muscle cramps,
- extreme fatigue and irritability,
- weakness and dizziness,
- decreased performance.
Not only is it important to drink water while you're out and about, you also need to drink water before physical activity. By the time you feel thirsty, you're already mildly dehydrated.
Every year, there are stories about children and pets left in hot cars. The interior temperature of a car parked outside can reach deadly levels in just a few minutes. If you're out running errands with your child or pet, double and triple check to make sure you do not inadvertently leave them behind in the sweltering heat.
"Those temperatures can exceed ... up to 140 degrees in just a few minutes," Jacobs said. "I can't stress enough, there's nothing more important than your children. We can't replace them.
"When you have pets and kids in cars, they have no ability to compensate," he continued. "They have no ability to get themselves out of those types of situations."
On average, the first 90-degree day of the year hits on April 2. Last year it was March 14. The average first 100-degree day is May 2.
While Tuesday's forecast of 94 degrees is not a record, it is about 10 degrees higher than the seasonal average.
It looks like Thursday will be even hotter -- flirting with the dreaded century mark.