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A tragic incident occurred in Arizona when a 10-year-old boy died after experiencing “heat-related emergencies” while hiking, according to a press release from the Phoenix Police Department.

The young victim fell ill while hiking with his family on Tuesday, July 2, at South Mountain Park and Preserve in Phoenix.

The press release, last updated on Wednesday, detailed that the boy was airlifted to an ambulance which then transported him to the hospital. Despite efforts to save him, he was in critical condition upon arrival and later succumbed to a “heat-related medical event.”

Phoenix Police detectives are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy’s death. According to ABC News, the incident occurred approximately one mile into the Mormon Trailhead.

On the day of the tragedy, temperatures in Phoenix soared to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, as reported by The Weather Channel. This extreme heat was a significant factor in the boy’s condition.

Credit: South Mountain Park and Preserve, Phoenix, Arizona.

This incident is part of a troubling trend in the region. Just last month, a mother of two died from heat exhaustion while hiking in Sedona, Arizona, People reported. She was visiting from Pennsylvania with her husband and their two daughters.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement after interviewing her family, indicating that “she suffered heat exhaustion and was not treated fast enough,” and cautioning hikers about the dangers of summer heat. “The temperatures can be much hotter on trails that are along the rocks and have little shade,” the sheriff’s office warned.

In response to the growing number of heat-related incidents, the City of Phoenix announced in April that it would close three popular hiking trails on days when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat warning. These trails include Camelback Mountain’s Echo and Cholla Trails and all trails associated with Piestewa Peak Trailhead in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. On such days, access to these trails will be restricted, parking lot gates will be closed, and signage will be put up to prevent heat-related injuries and deaths.

Furthermore, the Phoenix Fire Department has introduced a new method to treat heat victims called cold water immersion. This technique uses specialized ice bags to rapidly cool individuals suffering from extreme heat-related illnesses. It is particularly effective when a patient’s body temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit and they exhibit altered mental status.

Credit: Brandon Bell / Getty.

The National Weather Service emphasizes that heat-related illnesses are preventable through proper precautions. They recommend limiting exposure to high temperatures, staying hydrated, wearing lightweight and light-colored clothing, eating small meals frequently, monitoring those at high risk, and staying indoors during excessive heat.

Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, thirst, heavy sweating, nausea, and weakness. Heat stroke, a more severe condition, presents symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, and unconsciousness. In the event of a heat stroke, immediate medical attention is crucial, and calling 911 is advised.

This heartbreaking incident underscores the importance of taking heat warnings seriously and following safety guidelines to prevent such tragedies.