Heat Stroke is No Joke!
We're officially halfway done the year! Isn't that hard to believe?
With the arrival of June comes the hot weather, and although we are all excited about this, we believe that most of us tend to forget about the dangers of extreme sun exposure. It's easy to forget about staying hydrated and applying sunscreen when you're out having fun or if you are in the sun all day for work.
Canadian weather has a way of tending to the extremes. Traditionally (and perhaps stereotypically), the country is associated with extreme cold, ice and wintery conditions. However, the summers can be just as intense and come with a unique set of circumstances that require safety planning.
Planning around a hot day or a heat wave should always be done proactively. The most effective way to prevent heat illness is with preparation ahead of time. Monitor the weather forecast and, on especially warm days, consider postponing outdoor activities until the temperature has cooled down. You can also plan around the heat by choosing to do your activity in a cool, shaded area and by limiting duration and intensity.
So, here's a list of quick tips we compiled to help you stay sun safe this summer because nobody has fun when they have heat stroke.
1. Try to hang out in shaded areas when you get a chance
2. Always make sure to keep hydrated, drink water before you are thirsty. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol, as these have dehydrating effects that can contribute to heat illness.
3. Ensure that you are wearing lightweight and loose-fitting clothing to ensure airflow and effective cooling through sweat. A wide-brimmed hat can also be effective in shielding you from the sun's powerful beams overhead.
4. Always remember to apply sunscreen and re-apply every few hours
Before heat stroke sets in, someone who has been overexposed to the heat may show signs of heat exhaustion. This typically happens due to excessive sweating which leads to a loss of water, causing dehydration. It can present itself through a variety of symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Extreme thirst
- High body temperature
If someone you know is suffering from heat illness, your first priority should be to get them to a cool, shaded area out of direct sunlight. Have them lie down to reduce exertion and give them water or sports drinks if they are alert. The immediate danger comes from the extreme heat in the person's core, which makes it crucial to lower the person's temperature quickly.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the steps to take before you need them, and have a safe and happy summer!