AHS SOUTH ZONE – Due to elevated temperatures forecast for the Lethbridge and Medicine Hat areas, Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Friday, June 26, has issued a Heat Advisory for the entire South Zone.
Effective immediately, residents of and visitors to southern Alberta 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.
“Normal activity is more likely to cause overheating in current weather conditions. If you are very sweaty, weak, dizzy, nauseous, or have a headache or muscle cramps, you may have heat illness and you should stop your activity immediately, seek shade and drink fluids,” advises Dr. Karin Goodison.
“A more severe form of heat-related illness is heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting, and unconsciousness. Seek medical attention immediately for any individual with these symptoms. 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 lung or heart problems, outdoor workers, as well as those who live alone.
“Excessive heat can aggravate underlying medical illness such as congestive heart failure, and can also be of heightened danger to children and seniors,” says Goodison. “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.”
As temperatures are forecast to remain elevated for the next 72 hours, this heat advisory will remain in effect for the next 72 hours until late afternoon Monday, June 29.
For more, including information and advice 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.