Heat kills Alaskan kid on South Mountain

  I guess the heat can kill you! This kid from Alaska died while hiking on South Mountain.

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Teen tourist who passed out on hike dies

by Lisa Halverstadt and Rosha Safarmehdi - Jul. 20, 2009 12:08 PM

The Arizona Republic

An Alaska teen who became disoriented then passed out after hiking more than 4 hours Sunday at the South Mountain Preserve has died, officials confirmed Monday.

The 14-year-old was on a morning hike with family members and the group had run out of water, authorities said. He started to act confused, walked off an approximately 7-mile trail, then lost consciousness, said Capt. Alex Rangel, a Phoenix fire spokesman.

His family called for assistance at about 11:30 a.m. and it took firefighters about 30 minutes to find him on the trail, Rangel said.

By the time medics located him, the teen had stopped breathing and was without a pulse. He was transported to Maricopa Medical Center and was pronounced dead late Sunday afternoon, hospital spokesman Michael Murphy said.

The teen's family members were treated for dehydration.

Situations like this one can often be avoided with proper precautions, Rangel said.

He recommends hikers bring at least one gallon of water per person when they head out on a trail.

It's also important to wear the right shoes, bring a cellphone, apply sunscreen and hike during cooler times of the day, Rangel said.

Hikers also must realize that high temperatures can be detrimental to even the most experienced athletes.

"You have to prepare, and that means at this time of year, with the high heat alerts that we have, you need to rein yourself in a bit," Rangel said.

 

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