Friday, June 5, 2015
Hot Tips on
How to Stay Cool
share advice about avoiding the heat
Tasleem Juma, FHA
Canada has issued a special weather statement for hot weather for Whistler,
Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast. The
prolonged period of hot weather will start tomorrow and will continue
through early next week - with Saturday and Sunday being the hottest.
For the next few days, onshore sea-breezes will cap temperatures in the
mid-twenties near the ocean. Slightly inland, temperatures will hover near
30 degrees. This is the first stretch of hot weather this season. As a
result, the Lower Mainland Medical Health Officers for Fraser Health and
Vancouver Coastal Health are issuing this joint news release about hot
Prepare for the heat
While warm weather is pleasant and eagerly anticipated in British Columbia,
hot temperatures can be dangerous. Everyone is at risk of heat related
illness, but in particular, children, seniors and people with chronic health
conditions are more vulnerable. There are a variety of mild to severe
symptoms linked with heat-related illness, including thirst, dizziness,
confusion, weakness/fainting/collapsing and even death. Medical Health
Officers are reminding residents to take precautions to protect themselves
from the heat, including:
1. Stay hydrated
• Drink cool beverages
(preferably water) irrespective of your activity intake. Don't
wait until you are thirsty.
• If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink
or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of
water you can drink while the weather is hot.
2. Keep cool
• Spend the hottest hours
of the day (between 11am and 2pm) out of the sun and heat in a
cool location like an air-conditioned facility (such as a
shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant) or in
• Use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool
bath or shower.
• At high temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying
cool water mist or wet towels to your body prior to sitting in
front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.
• Dress for the weather by wearing loose, light-weight clothing.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and
• Keep your home cool. Open windows, close shades, use an air
conditioner and prepare meals that do not require an oven.
• Avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 30
• Avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must
exercise, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each
hour. Limit outdoor activity during the day to early morning and
• NEVER leave children or pets alone in a parked car. During
warm weather, temperatures can rise very quickly to dangerous
levels within an enclosed vehicle. Leaving the car windows
slightly open or "cracked" will not keep the inside of the
vehicle at a safe temperature.
3. Check in on others
• People living alone are
at high risk of severe heat related illness. Check regularly on
older people, those who are unable to leave their homes and
anyone who may not be spending at least several hours every day
in air conditioned places for signs of heat-related illness.
• Ask whether people know how to prevent heat-related illness
and are doing the same.
• If they are unwell, move them to a cool shady spot, help them
get hydrated and call for medical assistance if required.
4. Get informed.
• Monitor local news and
• For more information on heat-related illness, call HealthLink
BC at 811.
• Contact your local government to find out what services (such
as air conditioned buildings and public splash parks) are
available in your area.
VCH is responsible for the delivery of $3.4 billion in community, hospital
and residential care to more than one million people in communities
including Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky
corridor, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health care services to
more than 1.7 million people living in communities stretching from Burnaby
to White Rock to Hope. Our quality health care services range from acute
care hospitals to community-based residential, home health, mental health
and public health services.
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