How to stay safe in the heat this summer

by | Jul 1, 2023 | Health and Wellness

When the warm weather arrives, many of us can’t wait to get out and have fun in the sun. But as good as the sun’s rays feel on our face, too much sun – and time in the heat – can lead to some dangers to your health.

Heat-related ailments
The most serious heat-related condition is heat stroke. This is when your body loses control over temperature regulation. Your body stops being able to sweat and its temperature rises to life-threatening levels. You can also experience muscle spasms, appear disoriented and have seizures.

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and try to cool them off by helping them move out of the heat immediately, placing wet towels or ice packs on their neck, and fanning their skin. If they are responsive, provide them with hydrating liquids to drink. If they become unresponsive, perform CPR until paramedics arrive.

Other heat-related illnesses include heat rash and heat edema. Heat rash presents as itchy red spots on your skin. Wear moisture-wicking clothes to help prevent it, and shower to ease the itch. Heat edema is the swelling of your hands or feet from standing in the heat for long periods of time. Find a cool place where you can rest with your legs elevated.

Play safe
As many of us tend to participate in more outdoor activities during the warmer months, it is important to protect yourself by always using or wearing the safety equipment recommended for the sport or activity you’re participating in – even in the heat.

Take proper advantage of breaks, half-time or intermission, and remove your equipment while you rest. Take extra breaks when you need to. To cope with extreme heat, many soccer leagues have adopted water breaks midway through each half.

To protect your muscles from injury, stretch before and after you participate. And make sure you have plenty of water or sports drinks on hand to keep you hydrated while you’re active.

Seek shelter from the sun
As much as we love being out in the sun, you can have too much of a good thing. Sunburn can not only lead to painful blisters and an annoying itch while your skin heals, frequent burns can also cause premature aging of your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

If you’re going to be in the sun, apply sunscreen wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes. If you’re doing a physical activity where you’re sweating – or swimming – reapply sunblock regularly. If you feel weak or nauseous, find a cool place where you can rest and drink non-caffeinated, hydrating drinks.

Find more information on staying safe in the sun at canada.ca/health

Related Content

What you don’t know may hurt you

What you don’t know may hurt you

You might be surprised to know how many potentially toxic chemicals you likely have in your home. From bleach and colourful laundry detergent packets to household cleaners, paint and windshield washer fluid. Here’s how to keep everyone at home safe. Understand common...

read more
Tips to keep your cool when the weather heats up

Tips to keep your cool when the weather heats up

Many of us spend winter dreaming of sunny summer days ahead. However, the weather can become too hot to enjoy. To make sure you can keep your cool when the weather heats up, here are some tips. Check your air conditioner If you have an air conditioner, make sure it’s...

read more
How chemicals and pollutants get into our bodies

How chemicals and pollutants get into our bodies

We do many things to take care of ourselves and those around us, like staying active, eating healthy and keeping our homes safe. Yet we are regularly exposed to chemicals and pollutants in air, food, water and in the products we use in our homes. Most of these...

read more
What you need to know ahead of a heat wave

What you need to know ahead of a heat wave

Like winter storms and wildfires, you may have noticed that heat waves have become more frequent and intense over the last few summers. This year, take steps to stay safe and prepare for the heat before it arrives. Many heat deaths occur indoors. Make sure your air...

read more
What everyone should know about essential oils

What everyone should know about essential oils

Scent is a powerful part of our human experience. Different aromas can take us down memory lane or transport us to a calming or energizing place. Essential oils often bring such scents to everyday items like candles, soaps and lotions. But there are some things you...

read more
How worried should we be about asbestos?

How worried should we be about asbestos?

Asbestos has been a hot topic on many home renovation TV shows for years. The contractor calls up the homeowner and says that all work must stop because they’ve discovered asbestos. But what is asbestos and how worried do you have to be? Here’s what you need to know....

read more