(NC) Most of us enjoy everything our short summers have to offer. But a heat wave can make even the biggest warm-weather enthusiasts long for winter. Stay cool and comfortable with these tips from Health Canada.
- Understand heat illnesses. Hot temperatures can be dangerous and lead to heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat rash and muscle cramps. Heat illnesses can affect you quickly and are mainly caused by over-exposure to heat or over-exertion in the heat. Stay informed about local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.
- Know your risks. You’re at a greater risk for heat illness if you have certain health issues, including breathing difficulties, heart problems, a mental illness such as depression or dementia, or take certain medications. If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Remind yourself to drink water by leaving a glass by the sink and eat more fruits and vegetables as they have high water content.
- Keep your cool. Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made from breathable fabric. At home, prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in the oven and block the sun by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.
- Pay close attention to how you feel. Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting and headache. If you or anyone around you experiences any of these symptoms during hot weather, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.
- Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious or confused or who has stopped sweating.
- Rest and recover. If your home is extremely hot, take a break by spending a few hours in a cool place, like a tree-shaded area, a swimming facility or an air-conditioned public place. Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed. Use a fan to help you stay cool and aim the air flow in your direction.