Things are heating up in Surprise- literally! With the summer season approaching, extreme heat is an ever-present issue. Each year, 30-50 Arizonans die due to summer heat. A large proportion of those deaths are among the elderly, aged 65 and over. Additionally, individuals with heart disease or high blood pressure pose a high risk for heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses.
It is also noteworthy that certain medications can potentially cause adverse health effects during excessive heat events. Those medications include:
- Anticholinergics – Antihistamines such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Vistaril (hydroxyzine); Parkinsonism meds; Atropine/scopolamine; Belladonna alkaloids; Neuroleptics; and Antispasmodics
- Stimulants – Ephedrine/pseudoephedrine and Dietary agents such as ma huang
- Neuroleptics (antipsychotic) – Phenothiazines such as Mellaril (thioridazine), Thorazine, (chlorpromazine), promethazine, and prochlorperazine; Thioxanthenes such as chlorprothixene and Novane (thiothixene); and Butyrophenones such as haloperidol
- Other – Lithium
In an effort to combat these statistics, the City of Surprise joined the Heat Relief Network, which provides hydration and cooling off stations with the ultimate goal of preventing heat-related deaths. The following cooling stations are open to anyone in need of relief from the heat:
Surprise Resource Center – 12425 W Bell Road Building A, Suite 124; and
Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301) – 16750 N Village Drive East
It is also important this time of year to have your air conditioning units inspected and repaired as-needed to ensure they function properly for the duration of the summer season. In the unfortunate event that your unit fails during the summertime, and you are unable to get a repairman out right away, please visit one of the cooling stations mentioned above to beat the heat.
Additionally, in the event of a power outage, APS can be reached at 1 (800) 240-2014. In the event of a medical emergency, dial 911, or for a non-emergency please call (623) 222-5000 for Surprise Fire-Medical.
Of course, the cooling and hydration stations could not be made possible without your help! You can assist those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either of the heat relief locations.
Finally, as a reminder, never leave children or pets unattended in your vehicle. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger. A child’s temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult’s and when a child’s body temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die. Be mindful when you transport children in the car and be sure to call 911 if you do see a child alone in a vehicle.
As always, I am here for you should you have any questions. Send me a message at Nancy.Hayden@surpriseaz.gov, or give me a call at (623) 222-1422. Have a safe and wonderful summer!