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Sask. Health Authority gives advice to beat the heat

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is reminding everyone about ways to keep cool this summer. The SHA says rising temperatures are expected in many parts of the province this week, including northern Saskatchewan.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, a heat warning is issued when there are two or more consecutive days of daytime temperatures expected to reach 29 degrees or warmer. Heat-related illnesses include a skin-irritating heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), heat edema (swelling of hands, feet, and ankles), heat fainting, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

It’s recommended to stay out of the heat. Keep out of the sun during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., if possible. If you need to be outside, wear appropriate sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. Avoid any extreme physical exertion and keep in the shade whenever possible. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, know where to go to cool down. Public spaces that are air conditioned include malls, leisure centres, libraries, etc.

You can also try and cool yourself down during periods of extreme heat. It’s important to stay hydrated with cold water and cold drinks, avoiding excess alcohol. Eating cold foods can help; salad and fruit with high water content is always a nice, light choice. You can also take cool baths or showers.

Other ways to keep cool include keeping your living space cool. This is especially important for infants, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions or those who can’t look after themselves, including pets. Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.

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The SHA also recommends looking out for others. Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool. Ensure that babies, children, elderly people, and pets are not left alone in stationary vehicles. Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heat wave.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 or seek immediate medical help if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating. If you take medicines regularly, ask your doctor for advice about hot-weather activity and your risk of getting a heat-related illness. More information preventing heat illness can be found on the Government of Canada’s website.

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