Brace yourselves Vancouverites — Environment and Climate Change Canada and Medical Health Officials recently issued an ongoing heat warning for the Lower Mainland, with temperatures reaching 30 C. The City of Delta offers up some tips on how to stay protected during the hot weather.
Consume cool beverages, preferably water, even if you don’t feel thirsty or aren’t overly active. When exercising, drink at least two to four glasses every hour. Spend lots of time in an air-conditioned building (check out Delta’s many such facilities), and while you’re outside, wear loose, comfortable clothing and a wide-brimmed hat/sunglasses to shield your face from intense rays. Regularly apply sunscreen rated at SPF 30 or higher and stay in the shade to avoid getting burned.
Additional smart practices: never leaving children or pets unattended in a parked car, which effectively becomes an oven regardless of whether the windows are cracked or the vehicle is not sitting under direct sunlight. Regularly check in on loved ones who live alone and may have a condition putting them at risk of severe heat related illness, such as seniors and those unable to leave their homes without assistance. In the event you do discover someone unwell, move him or her to a cool spot, offer water and call for help if necessary.
Symptoms of heat illness include swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of other pre-existing health conditions. You can get more information by calling HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.
Have small pets at home? Rabbits, guinea pigs and birds are particularly susceptible to hot temps. Keep animal enclosures in indoor, shady areas, and drape the cages with a damp towel and put a frozen water bottle inside so your small companion can regulate its own body temperature. Canine owners should walk their companions in the mornings or evenings, and take them to a local lake or beach so they can go for a swim. Another option is to set up a small wading pool in the backyard.