It’s hot-hot-hot…so please beware and take care

Enjoy the summer, but watch the heat; in this week’s Hammertime

They say that we may be in for a record number of days of intense heat in the 30 degrees C plus range this July, which is great for enjoying these early days of summer holidays, but we do need to beware and take care of our own, as well as the delicate skin, bodies, and well-being of our family and friends, as extreme exposure to the sun can have very serious effects to people and pets.

We really enjoyed our trip to Vancouver Island in late June, and while the folks in B.C. were enjoying a stretch of much needed heat and sun-shine, yours truly somehow managed to burn the top of my head. As a result I was forced to rub a whole lot of soothing lotion on my grey and thinning hair for a few days, and although I have never been much of a ‘hat fan’ I did agree to go out and buy a cap, which turned out to be a nifty ‘Canada 150’ model. I also had to promise that I would wear my hat as well as douse myself with lots of plus 30 sun tan oil for all the hopefully many more hot and sunny days that we will venture out of our ‘condo cocoon.’ Most of us are already in the (slap-cuss-and run) defensive mode because all sorts of pesky beasties are now zooming and crawling around everywhere, which means that most important additions to our outdoor adventure kit should now be lots of bug spray and band-aids.

The vital rules of safe fun in the sun

Though most individuals are pretty good at managing moderate summer weather without problems even healthy Albertans and visitors to our great province need to be always vigilant about heat safety when temperatures rise. To help everyone manage when the mercury soars Alberta Health Services offers some simple safety tips to keep in mind to assure a long and fun summer.

• Consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day.

• Take frequent breaks from the constant heat, spending time indoors to relax and cool off at home or in cooled public buildings, including malls or indoor pools.

• Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.

• Do not ever leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle for any amount of time, and if you find someone in that situation call emergency officials immediately. Even minutes of high-temperature exposure can be harmful or deadly.

• Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors, and always be sure that the product you use blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and always reapply frequently as directed on the product label.

• Always wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, the latter with a UVA/UVB CSA-certified seal. Also wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and seek some shade at frequent opportunities.

• Monitor yourself and your loved ones for symptoms of heat stroke or exhaustion, including high body temperature, lack of sweat, confusion, fainting, and unconsciousness. Seek medical attention immediately for anyone who is feeling faint. We can also be very good friends and neighbours by checking up on vulnerable individuals who may be socially isolated and may not easily be able to seek help.

Be wary of the weather

As we all know quite well our weather patterns at this time of the year can be quite unpredictable and may strike with vengeance very unexpectedly. We all need to check the weather forecasts and apps often, especially in the later afternoons when most severe weather warnings are issued. Whether we are out and about or at home we need to always be prepared for sudden storms, take cover, and follow the directions of our emergency officials, who are trained and ready for these conditions. One can always hope that maybe this ongoing hot spell will fry the ever-impending invasion of the beloved mosquito clan?

With all the horrific storms and wind that have invaded our pristine and peaceful province so far this summer, most Town and County Councils have already been faced with increasing their clean-up and disaster budgets? With thousands of trees already meeting the wrath of nature this time around our hardy summer and ‘stump removal’ crews will be busy for months, with the only consolation of also trying to keep up with their regular outdoor maintenance duties is the fact that there should be enough wood-chips to last for years, and absolutely no shortage of fire-wood.. What-ever the case lets all appreciate their efforts and pitch in to help them do their jobs, as well as keep right on enjoying summer to the fullest at our choice and pace. We should always be assured that our life is so much better when we focus on what and who really matters. Have a great week, all of you.

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