Mercury Rising! Keep your cool during dog days of summer

high-temperature-98824_640Summertime in the desert can be brutal if you aren’t prepared for it. The hot sun and relentless heat can sneak up on you, and cause harmful effects – even fatal ones.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, though, the population most at-risk for emergency room visits and fatalities are the elderly population. Between 2000-2012, one out of every two Arizona residents who either died or showed up in emergency rooms for heat illnesses were older than 54 years.

But children are also very vulnerable to heat illness, especially when car travel is involved. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide Organization, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of four. On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle, or about 40 children a year.

Here are some good rules of thumb to follow to keep you and your family safe from the sun this season.

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