Gateway Gazette

Heat Advisory issued for the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services

 

CALGARY – Due to elevated temperatures forecast for the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS), AHS has issued a heat advisory for the whole Calgary Zone.

Effective immediately, residents of and visitors to the Calgary Zone are advised to take the following precautions to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours from the potentially harmful effects of the sun (including burns, heat-related exhaustion and heat stroke):

  • 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.

Residents and visitors should also monitor for symptoms of heat stroke, including high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting, and unconsciousness.

“Normal activity that may be safe on a cool day might be dangerous in current weather conditions. If you start to feel overheated, stop your activity immediately, seek shade and drink fluids,” advises Dr. Brent Friesen, Medical Officer of Health – Calgary Zone.

“Seek medical attention immediately for any individual feeling faint. While awaiting medical attention, move the individual to a shaded area, and remove his or her outer clothing and shoes. You should also wrap the person in a wet towel until medical care is being provided.”

Particular vigilance is urged for vulnerable individuals, including children, seniors, individuals with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, outdoor workers, as well as those who are socially isolated.

“Excessive heat can aggravate underlying medical illness such as congestive heart failure, and can also be of heightened danger to children and seniors. Individuals who are socially isolated may not know when or how to seek help, or be able to monitor their own symptoms.”

“We not only need to pay attention to our own bodies; we also need to look-out for our neighbours and loved ones,” says Dr. Friesen.

As temperatures are forecast to remain elevated, this heat advisory will remain in effect until 3 p.m., July 12, 2015.

For more information and advice, including as specific to seniors, children, individuals with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, and outdoor workers, visit: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/heat.asp

Albertans can also contact Health Link at 811, for general heat-related health advice and information. Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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