Summer Heatwave Survival Tips

NC) Along with summer comes extreme heat in many parts of the country. Over the next 30 years the number of extremely hot days in a year is expected to double in some parts of Canada. This level of heat can put your health at risk if you don’t take precautions. Here are some key tips to survive these temperatures.

1. Know your risk.
Older adults, young children, people living with chronic illness, social isolation or poverty, and people who work outdoors often have a higher risk for heat illness. If you take medication, consult with your family doctor or pharmacist about your level of risk.

2. Check your AC
If you have an air conditioner, make sure it is working properly before the hot weather starts.

3. Dress appropriately
In high temperatures, dress accordingly in loose-fitting, light-coloured and breathable clothing.

4. Avoid midday heat
UV rays and temperatures are often highest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If it’s hot, reschedule your outdoor activities or plan them for cooler parts of the day.

5. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of cool liquids — especially water – before you feel thirsty. Remember, thirst isn’t a good indicator of dehydration.

6. Eat fresh
Avoid using your oven or other appliances that will heat up your home. Try no-heat meals like hearty grain salads or barbecue outdoors.

7. Let in a breeze
If it’s safe to do so, open your windows at night to let cooler air into your home while the sun is down.

8. Check in with others
Arrange for regular checks with family members, neighbours or friends during very hot days in case you or they need help. Just remember to follow the public health advisories that are in place in your area.

9. Take a break
If your home is extremely hot, try to spend a few hours in a cool place, such as a shaded area or public library.

Whatever strategies you adopt, always watch for symptoms of heat illnesses. These include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, or rapid breathing and heartbeat. If you have any of these symptoms during extreme heat, move to a cool place and drink water right away.

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you’re caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused, or has stopped sweating.

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