Take extra precautions as weather heats up

‘It really is about paying attention … don’t take a 10 mile hike with no hat and no water.’

Smoky skies combined with record-breaking heat this week, meaning residents with health concerns need to take special caution.

“If you live in a place that just gets extra hot because you’re on the top floor is there someplace, in your building even. you can go and hang out for a couple of hours,” said Eileen Grant, Oak Bay manager of emergency programs. “It’s the old thing, drink plenty of fluids and wear a hat and make sure you have lots of sunscreen. Just realize heat presents as many challenges as cold does.

“It really is about paying attention and taking those extra precautions don’t take a 10 mile hike with no hat and no water.”

The key concern is for those who suffer ailments generally affected by heat.

“Do you have ailments that heat will be particularly challenging for? Have you talked to your doctor about how might handle that in the best way?” Grant said. “Just pay attention and don’t do things that are going to put you in jeopardy.”

If you’re susceptible to the heat get out of the sun and get plenty of rest because that’s as important as fluids, “so you’re in top shape for anything that gets thrown at you,” she said.

Understand the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, Grant added.

If you’re exhausted and uncomfortable get to a cool place, but don’t go alone.

“If you feel that way don’t go there alone, go where there are people so that if it ends up being a little bit more than heat exhaustion there’s somebody there who can help,” she said. “Heat stroke is much more dangerous. That’s when you start talking nonsense and feel faint, maybe even pass out. Then you need to get yourself to hospital and get proper fluids. It’s much more dangerous.”

The provincial hotline, reached by dialing 8-1-1, will get a registered nurse on the line.


 

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