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Wednesday, 05 August 2015 00:00

Stay cool, Daddio

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            Most of us love the hot summer weather—and spend much of the year waiting for it. But it can cause serious concern for seniors, small children, people with chronic medical conditions (like respiratory problems and heart conditions), and outside workers.

            The good news is that heat-related issues like

dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable.

            “The elderly are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to the heat, especially if they are experiencing a chronic illness such as a heart condition,” explains Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health. “It is vital to check on family, friends and neighbours to ensure they are remaining cool and are properly hydrated.”

            In addition, avoid cooking in an oven to keep the temperature in your home down. Closing your blinds is another effective method of keeping the sun out, and keeping the temperature down.

            Kawartha Lakes EMS offers the following tips for heat emergencies:

  • Stay inside air-conditioned buildings If your home does not have air conditioning, visit a library, community centre or shopping centre.
  • Drink water frequently (constantly sipping).
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Do very little exercise.
  • Check on the elderly, small children and the ill.

            Construction workers and others who work outdoors should try to do these things:

  • Drink when you’re thirsty.
  • Keep taking rest breaks in a cool, shady spot.
  • Use fans.
  • Wear light-coloured, cotton clothing.
  • Do the heaviest work in the coolest time of the day.
  • Work in the shade.
  • For heavy work in hot areas, take turns with other workers, so some can rest.
  • If you travel to a warm area for a new job, you need time for your body to get used to the heat. Be extra careful the first two weeks on the job.
  • If you work in protective clothing, you need more rest breaks. You may also need to check your temperature and pulse rate.

            If you think someone is overcome by heat (weak, tired, hot, flushed or unresponsive), call 911 immediately.

            Move the victim to the shade. Loosen his/her clothes. Wipe or spray his/her skin with cool water and fan him/her. You can use a piece of cardboard or other material as a fan.

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