Summertime in Las Vegas is sweltering, as daily temperatures stay in the triple digits for months. The average high in July is 104 degrees, according to U.S. Climate Data, and August brings an average high of 102.
Extreme summer heat can be dangerous; many people suffer from heatstroke, dehydration and surface-contact burns. Here are several tips for staying safe during the Las Vegas summertime heat.
1. Never walk barefoot
The sidewalk and pavement temperatures in the summer can exceed 170 to 180 degrees, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the most common contact burns result from people attempting to walk barefoot on sidewalks, driveways or pavement.
Just a few seconds of contact with these surfaces can result in severe burns that require hospitalization, Dr. Jay Coates, medical director of the University Medical Center’s Lions Burn Care Center, told the LVRJ. He recommends wearing thick-soled shoes.
Likewise, put shoes on the pads of your pet’s feet: many dogs and cats also suffer from burned paws after just a few moments of contact with paved surfaces.
2. Carry a hand towel
Be cautious about touching any metal objects—such as door knobs or vehicle door handles—that have had prolonged exposure to the sun. Touching these exceedingly hot surfaces can quickly burn your hands.
Carry a small hand towel or gloves, which give you a layer of protection when you’re opening a car door handle, touching a steering wheel or handling any other hot object.
3. Keep a windshield cover in your car
Even if you park your car inside a garage at home and work, you’ll still likely leave your car in the sun at some point—such as during trips to the grocery store, gym or coffeeshop. Keep a UV-reflective windshield cover in your vehicle at all times, in order to keep the dashboard, wheel and front seats cooler.
4. Wear sunscreen and a hat; carry an umbrella
Las Vegas receives an average of 402 hours of sunshine in June, or 13.4 hours of sunshine per day. Even if you’re not laying out, incidental sun exposure—which comes from walking across parking lots, for example, or checking your mailbox—can quickly accumulate into skin damage.
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even if you’ll be indoors for most of the day, and wear a hat to protect your face and neck. In addition, carry a UV-reflective umbrella to shield yourself from the sun if you need to walk for more than a block or two. These umbrellas block both visible and UV light, protecting you from harmful sun rays as well as keeping you cooler.
5. Drink more water than you think you need
Thanks to Las Vegas’ desert environment, you’ll need to drink more water than you might expect. The Southern Nevada Health District website recommends that adults drink one glass of water per hour to avoid dehydration.
If that sounds like a lot, remember that you can also consume water through fruits and vegetables. Eating high-water-content produce, such as celery, tomatoes, oranges and melons, can help you remain hydrated during the grueling summer days, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The CDC also recommends avoiding sugary and alcoholic drinks and replenishing your body’s salt and minerals, which you’ll sweat out during periods of extreme heat.