Sunshine is hard to come by during many months of the year in Canada, but this summer has offered a fair number of hot and sunny days.
The Red Cross offers a few simple tricks to keep cool when temperatures are heating up.
• Drink plenty of cool fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
• Avoid being outdoors during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its strongest.
• Work and exercise in brief periods. Take frequent breaks in a cool or shaded area.
• Dress in light, loose clothing. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
• Wear sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) to protect your skin from sunburn.
Too much heat exposure can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch for:
Symptoms of heat cramps may include muscle contractions, usually in the legs or abdomen.
Heat exhaustion symptoms include moist, red or pale skin, nausea, and dizziness, while
Heat stroke may present as red, hot and dry skin; irritable, bizarre or aggressive behaviour; progressive loss of consciousness; rapid, weak pulse becoming irregular; and rapid, shallow breathing and seizures.
Prevention of sun-related illnesses and awareness of symptoms is key to fully enjoying yourself in the sun this summer.