The summer heat in the desert can be a dangerous thing for outdoor enthusiasts.  It is important to understand the safety measures that must be taken during these hot summer months.  The temperature has been in the 90's in the El Mirage area in recent weeks.  It is important to remember these tips when recreating in the desert during the hottest months of the year.

Remember to drink plenty of water!  Carry water with you wherever you are recreating and drink it constantly.  It is best to drink 8 ounces every 30 minutes when you are constantly in the sun.  Symptoms of dehydration are not always easily identified and can be confused with other causes.  Water is the best way to keep your body cool and avoid heat-stroke.

When possible, stay in the shade.  Prolonged sun exposure during these hot summer months is dangerous.  Take a break from your fun and enjoy the shade periodically. 

Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more, even if it's overcast.  Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before beginning your activities outside. 

Eat small meals of carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables and eat more often than the standard three meal times each day.  This will help give you energy to fight heat-stroke and other illnesses.  Avoid proteins.

Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing as light colors reflect heat and sunlight.  This will help you your body temperature remain normal.  Cover as much skin as you can to avoid over-heating effects on your body. 

Take frequent breaks when engaged in physical activities on warm summer days.  Have fun, but do your best to be aware of your body temperature and the condition of those around you.  Heat stroke can happen instantly without notice.

Some symptoms of heat stroke include:

High body temperature
Lack of perspiration
Rapid pulse
Rapid breathing

If these symptoms occur in anyone in your group, take them to a cooler place immediately and give them a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.  If symptoms persist or they lose consciousness, they will need to be taken to the hospital for care.