Northern Health wants you to be safe during the heat wave

The forecast is calling for humid weather, and Northern Health encourages everyone to take some basic precautions before heading outside.

Each year in Northern Health, a number of people are admitted to local emergency rooms to be treated for the effects of heat and sun exposure.

Heat illness can occur when the humidex is at or near 40, or if there are extended periods of high temperatures. The very young and people over 65 years of age are most vulnerable.

Symptoms of heat illness include rapid breathing, headache, weakness or fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, People with these symptoms should move to a cool environment, rest, and drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages.

If an individual’s symptoms worsen or are severe, they should visit an emergency room or their family doctor.

Northern Health also recommends to:

-Watch or listen for humidex reports issued by Environment Canada

-Drink lots of water and natural juices, even if you don’t feel thirsty; avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, which can cause dehydration

-Avoid strenuous activity during mid-day when the temperature is at its peak. – Avoid going out in the blazing sun. If you must go out, stay in the shade or wear a hat.

-Apply a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or more for short trips outside. Upgrade to SPF 30 if you’ll be spending long periods in direct sun.

-Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before exposure, using waterproof sunscreen if you sweat heavily or plan to swim.

-Use a fan to bring in cooler air from outside.

-Check on relatives, friends and neighbors, who live alone, have difficulty caring for themselves, or are immobile to ensure they aren’t suffering from the heat.

-Never leave infants, small children or pets in a parked car.

-Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see any medication you might take put you at higher risk for developing heat-related illness

For more information on heat-related health issues, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke, call 8-1-1 for health advice 24/7, or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca