What steps can people take to avoid heat related illness?
- Never leave children alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise to 52° C (125° F) within 20 minutes inside a vehicle when the outside temperature is 34° C (93° F). Leaving the car windows slightly open will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Drink extra water even before you feel thirsty.
- Keep cool – stay indoors in air-conditioned buildings or take a cool bath or shower. At temperatures above 30° C (86°F), fans alone may not be able to prevent heat-related illness. Remember, sunscreen will protect against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays but not from the heat.
- Plan your outdoor activity before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when the sun’s Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) is the weakest.
- Avoid tiring work or exercise in hot, humid environments. If you must work or exercise, drink 2 to 4 glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour. Rest breaks are important and should be taken in the shade.
- Avoid sunburn – use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and a wide brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.
- Regularly check older adults, children and others for signs of heat-related illness and make sure they are keeping cool and drinking plenty of fluids. Check on those who are unable to leave their homes, and people with emotional or mental health concerns whose judgment may be impaired.