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BRAIN WAVES

Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona Blog

Weathering the Summer Heat

By Brittany Sweeney-Lawson


During the pandemic, a lack of routine has become the new routine. For survivors of brain injury, not having a reliable schedule to follow can range from stressful to scary, with memory issues and disorientation topping the list of reported concerns. As we begin a typical sweltering Arizona summer with throngs of people anxious to return to normal activity, it’s important to keep in mind that COVID-19-related disorientation, combined with heat stroke or exhaustion, can quickly turn deadly.

In fact, approximately 658 people lose their lives to preventable heat-related illnesses each year.

Approximately 658 people lose their lives to preventable heat-related illnesses each year.

Weathering the Summer Heat

By Brittany Sweeney-Lawson


During the pandemic, a lack of routine has become the new routine. For survivors of brain injury, not having a reliable schedule to follow can range from stressful to scary, with memory issues and disorientation topping the list of reported concerns. As we begin a typical sweltering Arizona summer with throngs of people anxious to return to normal activity, it’s important to keep in mind that COVID-19-related disorientation, combined with heat stroke or exhaustion, can quickly turn deadly.

In fact, approximately 658 people lose their lives to preventable heat-related illnesses each year.

Approximately 658 people lose their lives to preventable heat-related illnesses each year.

At the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona, we recognize the unfortunate potential for an increase in these fatalities if proper precautions aren’t taken. To help Arizona residents and visitors maximize the benefits of warmth and vitamin D without getting burned, here are some timely tips for “Weathering the Heat.”

Weathering the Heat Safety Tips

  • Always, always, ALWAYS carry a water bottle, and replenish your fluids frequently, as sweating depletes your salt and mineral reserves.
  • Apply sunscreen to protect yourself from radiation. A sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater is recommended.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible during midday, when the sun is at peak heat.
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Use sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas to provide additional covering and protection.
  • When going out alone, call or text a couple of friends or loved ones who can check in on you.
  • If you have friends or loved ones who have disabilities or are elderly, check in on them, as they may be at higher risk for heat-related illness.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended in cars. Attachable car seat alarms can blare as you attempt to leave the vehicle or send a reminder message to your smartphone. Leaving a personal item (shoes, wallet, purse) next to the child or pet can also trigger your brain out of its basal ganglia-induced autopilot response.
  • If you or someone you know experiences a heat-related illness that does not improve with rest and cooling measures, get medical care immediately.

Our Resource Facilitation Team is available to assist you with additional information and resources for brain health & safety.

Brittany Sweeney-Lawson
Resource Facilitation Manager

Will Grove
Resource Facilitation Specialist

ABOUT BRAIN INJURY ALLIANCE OF ARIZONA

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAZ) is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with all types of brain injuries through prevention, advocacy, awareness and education. BIAAZ also houses the Arizona Brain Health Resource Center, a collection of educational information and neuro-specific resources for brain injury survivors, caregivers, family members and professionals.

What began in 1983 as a grassroots effort has grown into a strong statewide presence, providing valuable life-long resources and community support for individuals with all types of brain trauma at no charge.

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona:

  • Works with Congressional Brain Injury Task Force
  • Houses Arizona Brain Health Resource Center
  • Hosts Statewide Opioid Use Disorder & Cognitive Impairment Workgroup
  • Has Statewide Opioid Use Disorder & Cognitive Impairment Response team with peer support, training, and family wraparound services
  • Facilitates Brain Health Advisory Council
  • Manages statewide Neuro Info-Line: 888-500-9165

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