Simple precautions to beat the heat this summer

Tips to beat the heat this summer.
AHS-logo
AHS has offered some tips to beat the heat this summer!"

It's summer once again, and with it the time of year for people to suffer from heat-related injuries.

However, some simple precautions can help people enjoy outdoor activities even while it is hot and sunny outside.

Some tips offered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in a recent release include:

Keep cool at home:

  • Close your blinds or curtains and use awnings and shutters.
  • Do activities early or later in the day when it is cooler.
  • Use air conditioning if possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, go into the basement or visit a cool location, such as a shopping centre or library.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths and apply a cold towel to your neck.

Keep cool when outdoors:

  • Plan a place to take breaks in the shade to cool off.
  • Drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid strenuous activities if possible.

Protect your skin from the sun:

  • Wear a broad-rimmed hat, long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover skin with UV-protective-labelled clothing.
  • Be aware certain medications increase the health risks from extreme heat exposure. Find out if your medication causes you to be more sensitive to sunlight or heat stress.
  • Choose a water-resistant sunscreen that has a broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen generously 20 minutes before going outside and reapply frequently and especially after swimming, strenuous exercise or toweling off.

Pay attention to your pets:

  • Make sure they have fresh water and keep them out of the heat as much as possible.
  • Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle.
  • Brush your pets coat to promote air circulation. Do not shave them as their fur protects them from the sun.
  • Use a spray bottle to give pets a cool misting.
  • Walk pets on the grass if possible and take walks during cooler times of the day.

Letting yourself get overheated can lead to heat stroke, a potentially life-threatening medical emergency requiring medical attention.

Heat Stroke can be caused by heat stress, UV radiation, high temperatures, and high humidity.

Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, severe restlessness, anxiety, nausea and vomiting,a fast heart rate, dry skin, dizziness, fainting and unconsciousness.

In the case of emergencies, head to your nearest emergency department or call 911.

"Make sure to check on loved ones, especially those who may be socially isolated or live in housing without air conditioning, to see how they are coping," notes the release.

"Older adults, infants, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions are at greatest risk from extreme heat."