Heat alert issued

POSTED: 2014-08-14 13:14:29

Environment Canada has issued a heat alert for the southern part of Saskatchewan. Residents are advised to take precautions to protect themselves.

“Extremely hot summer weather increases the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heatstroke,” Saskatchewan’s Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Denise Werker said. “The majority of heat-related illnesses can be prevented by keeping the body cool and by remaining hydrated.”

Most at risk of experiencing complications are children under age four, elderly, obese persons and persons with chronic diseases because their bodies do not transfer heat as effectively. Exercising during hot weather, working outdoors, and overdressing for the environment increase your risk of heat-related illness. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk of dehydration.

Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise, often to 40.6°C (105°F) or higher. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Even with immediate treatment, it can be life-threatening or cause serious long-term problems.

Take action immediately if you experience symptoms like dizziness or fainting, nausea, rapid breathing or rapid heartbeat.

Tips to avoid heat-related complications:
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid strenuous activity in hot, humid weather or during the hottest part of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
When outside, wear light-coloured, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and a hat, preferably with a wide brim.
Take frequent breaks in the shade, visit a mall or other air conditioned facility to cool down.
Cool yourself off by taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
Avoid consumption of coffee, colas, and alcohol as they tend to dehydrate the body.
People living in non-air conditioned homes should open their windows at night and close the windows and blinds early in the morning to maintain a cooler environment. At night, use a fan in or near a window to blow heat from the house and draw cooler air in from other windows. Never leave children in a parked car.

For more information on extreme heat and human health and heat-related illnesses, visit the Ministry of Health's website at www.health.gov.sk.ca/extreme-heat-and-human-health and HealthLine Online at www.health.gov.sk.ca/healthline-online. Call HealthLine 8-1-1 for professional advice anytime.

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