Beat the Heat & Stay Safe


REMINDER: Heat can KILL, People….
Follow these tips to protect your family and yourself

Remember back in January when we longed for this – the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer? Yep. Now it’s crazy hot, so we need to be careful to keep the kids and ourselves well

Taking the right precautions against heat illness has never been more important.  Knowing your risks and preparing in advance will go a long way to keeping you, your family and those you care for safe.

While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, the risks are greatest for older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses, people who work and exercise in the heat, and people without access to working air conditioners.  Heat illnesses can include heat stroke, heat-related exhaustion, fainting, swelling of hands or feet, rash and muscle cramps.  Heat stroke is a medical emergency so call 911 if someone in your care has a high body temperature, is confused or unconscious or has stopped sweating.

Here are some tips for staying safe:

• If you have a health condition or are taking medication, ask your pharmacist or doctor if this increases your health risk in the heat.

• Visit neighbours, friends and older family members to make sure they’re cool and hydrated.

• Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

• Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.

• Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.

• Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

• Spend a few hours in a cool place such as a tree-shaded area, swimming facility or an air-conditioned spot such as a public building or shopping mall.

• Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.

• Prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in your oven.

• Block sun out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.

• Avoid sun exposure. Shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella.

• Watch for heat alerts, and pay attention to poor air quality forecasts, such as the Air Quality Health Index.

You can find more tips at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cc or you can order some extremely helpful brochures about heat and health by e-mailing publications@hc-sc.gc.ca or by calling 1-866-225-0709.