The Saskatchewan Health Authority is reminding the public to take precautions during rising temperatures expected in many parts of the province this week. According to Environment Canada, extreme heat is coming to western Saskatchewan in the next few days, with temperatures expected to climb into the 30s. As a result, heat warnings were issued for the province’s southwest, northwest, and west-central areas, with humidex values expected to approach the 40-degree mark on Saturday afternoon.
Heat-related illnesses include heat rash (skin irritation), heat cramps (muscle cramps), heat edema (swelling of hands, feet, and ankles), heat fainting, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming ill during periods of extreme heat:
- Stay out of the heat
- Keep out of the sun during the peak hours of 11 a.m. – 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 do not have air conditioning at home, know where to go to cool down. Air-conditioned public spaces include malls, leisure centres, libraries, etc.
- Cool yourself down
- Stay hydrated with cold water and cold drinks, avoiding excess alcohol. Eat cold foods – salad and fruit with high water content is always a nice, light choice.
- Take cool baths or showers.
- Practice Water Safety
- Choose a safe place to swim. Check for health and safety notices before wading into water. These notice can include warnings about water quality or a strong undertow.
- Keep young children and inexperienced swimmers in view and within arm’s reach when they are in water. This will reduce the risk of serious injury.
- Keep your environment cool
- Keep your living space cool. This is especially important for infants, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions or those who cannot look after themselves (including pets).
- Keep windows exposed to the sun closed during the day and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
- Look out for others
- Watch out for isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and ensure they can keep cool.
- Ensure that babies, children, older adults, adults, and pets are not left alone in stationary vehicles or unsupervised when near open water.
- Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends daily during the heat wave.
Heat Stroke is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or seek immediate medical assistance if you are caring for someone with a high body temperature, unconscious, confused, or 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 on preventing heat illness can be found on the Government of Canada’s website: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/sun-safety/extreme-heat-heat-waves