Heat Safety Tips

May 30, 2024
Person holding water bottle in desert environment

With 100°F days now upon us, it is important for Wildcats to stay safe, cool, and hydrated.

During periods of excessive heat, it's best to remain indoors. When possible, utilize indoor facilities that accommodate physical activity. Check out the Lo Que Pasa article Summertime workouts are best made in the shade for spots on the Tucson campus to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the sun.

Should you find yourself outside in the elements, here's how to protect yourself:

Dress for success.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Wear hats or use an umbrella.
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed skin.

Plan and pace your activity.

  • Plan outdoor activities for the coolest times of the day.
  • Limit and reduce duration of outdoor activity. 
  • Pace physical activity and take frequent breaks.
  • Plan for cool-down recovery time in the shade if possible.

Keep hydrated.

  • Always carry water with you and drink even if you do not feel thirsty. 
  • Increase your water intake. Drink a minimum of at least two liters (eight or more cups) of water each day, even if you are mostly indoors. 
  • Avoid drinks with sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.

Be aware.

  • Never leave children, adults, or pets inside a parked vehicle. A parked vehicle can reach dangerous temperatures in just minutes. Leaving the windows down or parking in the shade can still result in deadly heat conditions inside a vehicle. 
  • Pima County has established air-conditioned sites as free cooling centers for those needing shelter. Some will let you bring your pets; check the rules before you go. 


report_problem Watch for signs of heat illness.

Heat cramps

  • Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms or legs.
  • Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.

Heat exhaustion

  • Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting or fainting.
  • Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.

Heat stroke

  • Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness.
  • Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.