With the summer heat finally arriving, Interior Health has a few tips to help people keep their cool.
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for several parts of the province this week, with daytime temperatures expected in the low to mid 30s.
The first heat wave of the season can lead to some people overheating because they are not yet acclimatized to warmer weather. There are some basic steps people can take to ensure they remain safe and healthy during warmer temperatures.
Preparing for hot weather:
- Identify a cooler space in your home and prepare it so you can stay there at night, if possible. You may need to change regular living arrangements.
- Find an air-conditioned spot close by where you can cool off on very hot days. Consider staying with friends or family or find places in your community to spend time such as movie theatres, libraries, community centres or shopping malls.
- Check that you have a working fan. If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works.
- Install awnings, shutters, blinds, or curtains over your windows to keep the sun out during the day.
- Practice opening doors and windows to move cool air in at night and shutting windows during the day to prevent hot outdoor air from coming inside.
- Get a digital room thermometer to keep with you so you know when your home is getting too hot.
IH has a list of ways people to stay healthy during the heat wave:
- Spray your body down with water, wear a damp shirt, take a cool shower or bath, or sit with part of your body in water to cool down if you are feeling too hot.
- Drink plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even if you are not feeling thirsty
- Take it easy, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
- Stay in the shade and use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
- Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache, and dizziness. Take immediate action to cool down if you are overheating.
- Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest, and use water to cool your body.
- Heat stroke is a medical emergency
In the event of a medical emergency, call 911.
Additional heat information is available on the Interior Health public website. The BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) also has a broad range of heat-related information on its website, including information on the different types of heat alerts, how to prepare for warmer temperatures, symptoms of heat-related illnesses, those most at risk during warmer weather, and ways to stay cool.