Interior Health is offering advice for residents as the heat wave is set to bring record-seeting temperatures to the Kamloops region.
Excessive heat exposure can lead to weakness, disorientation and exhaustion. In severe cases, it can also lead to heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. The health authority said heat stroke can be a life-threatening medical emergency.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but some people are at greater risk. Take extra care to check on the following people regularly:
• Infants and young children, who rely on adults to monitor their environments and to provide them with enough fluid to drink;
• People 65 years or older or anyone who needs assistance monitoring their well-being;
• People with heart problems and breathing difficulties;
• People who exercise or who work outside or in a hot environment.
Watch for these symptoms
The symptoms of heat-related illness can range from mild to severe. They include:
• Pale, cool, moist skin;
• Heavy sweating;
• Muscle cramp;
• Swelling, especially hands and feet;
• Fatigue and weakness;
• Light headedness and/or fainting;
• Nausea and/or vomiting.
More severe symptoms — including high fever, hallucinations, seizures and unconsciousness — require urgent medical attention. Call 911, move to a cool place and cool the person with water and fanning.
Avoid heat related illness
• Plan your outdoor activity before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to avoid the most intense sun;
• Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Water is the best choice;
• Avoid physical work or exercise outside in the heat of the day;
• If you must work or exercise outside, drink two to four cups of water each hour, even before you feel thirsty;
• Rest breaks are important and should be taken in the shade;
• Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn, but remember this doesn’t protect from the heat;
• Stay in the shade or create your own shade with lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing, a wide brimmed hat and/or an umbrella;
• If you’re struggling to keep cool, move indoors to an air-conditioned building 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;
• Never leave children or pets 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.