AHS Weekly Wellness News: Staying healthy in the heat


Most of us look forward to summer weather through the many long months of winter here in Alberta, but when those hot temps finally arrive, it’s important to enjoy safely.

To help you master the mercury rising, Alberta Health Services (AHS) encourages you to take these simple steps.

When temps are hot:

  • Visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/heat.asp to view all active Heat Advisories issued by AHS, around the province.

  • Consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day.

  • Take frequent breaks from heat, spending time indoors at cooled public buildings (including malls or indoor pools).

  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.

  • Do not leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle.

  • Apply a sunscreen of at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30, at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors. Be sure the SPF 30 screens out both UVA and UVB rays, and reapply frequently (as directed on product label).

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (with a UVA/UVB CSA certified seal).

  • Wear light-coloured long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover skin.

Albertans are also reminded to monitor for symptoms of heat stroke, which include high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting and/or unconsciousness. Seek medical attention immediately for any individual feeling faint. While awaiting medical attention, move the individual to a shaded area, remove his or her outer clothing and shoes, and wrap the person in a wet towel until medical care is being provided.

Remember: Excessive heat can aggravate underlying medical illness such as congestive heart failure, can also be of heightened danger to children and seniors, and individuals who are socially isolated may not know when or how to seek help, or be able to monitor their own symptoms. Be a good neighbour, and watch out for the seniors and children in your area.

For more info, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/heat.asp. For health information and advice 24/7 call Health Link by dialing 811.