While much of Saskatchewan continues to sizzle with the summer heat, a lot of residents are finding the heat a bit too much to bear. Those most vulnerable to heat related emergencies are the very young, our seniors or those not caring for themselves such homeless people. During these hot hot days we need to all spend more time in cool places. Such cool places might be window shopping at the local mall. Grab a book and doing some reading at the library. If you have air conditioning at home merely staying indoors. For those without residential air conditioning a simple fan, or several, might do the trick to get the air moving and temperature down a few degrees.
Not only do we want to stay cool we need to stay hydrated. Plenty of nice cold water is the order of the day. While other cold beverages might taste better, water is what your body needs. Keep drinking fluids even though you might not be thirsty. Those working outdoors will consume even more water. To those who will be working outdoors please remember to take frequent breaks and continue eat well. For those who might not be able to get cooled off because their apartment has no air conditioning try moving to central common areas which often are cooler spaces. Remember just as you might have done during the black out, check on neighbors down the street and possibly make a new friend just to see how they are doing. Those with limited family resources or poor mobility might find it difficult to get the extras like water or a simple fan. Also many medications can cause problems during the heat or exposure to sun making you more vulnerable to a heat emergency. Consult with your pharmacist to ensure you are aware of additional steps that might be needed to prevent a serious medical emergency.
As you might head to the beach, paddling pool, water park or spray park, please do supervise your children at all times. It doesn’t take a lot of water to have a serious incident happen. If utilizing floating chairs or other floating lounge devices, stay close to shore in water that you can stand up in if the device overturns.
With the heat comes high UV index. Some say hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, well maybe not that hot, but certainly hot enough cause significant if not serious sun burn. Wear sun screen and apply it frequently during activity to prevent serious sub burns. Spotting a heat emergency in our children, friends or co-workers is as easy as knowing the signs.
• Dizziness, confusion, excessive sweating
• Nausea, vomiting, with progressive confusion
• If the sweating ever stops you have an extreme medical emergency – get help call for the paramedics
The steps are really quite simple – drink plenty of fluids, stay in cool spaces, wear plenty of sunscreen and ensure the safety of others to be sure they do the same. If you are a lover of hot weather, this your favorite time of year.
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