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Alberta Health Services issues heat warning

It’s wonderful to be outdoors and soak up the summer weather, but residents are reminded to protect themselves and their families from the harmful effects of the sun.
Alberta Health Services advises that as temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related and other illnesses.
People can be affected by heat in a number of ways, from mild to life threatening:
Heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a loss of water and salt in the body.
Symptoms include dizziness or fainting, weakness; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; heavy sweating, muscle cramps; thirsty and less urine production; headache; rapid breathing and heart beat.
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.
Heat stroke
Heat stroke is a medical emergency.
Symptoms include high body temperature (above 40 Celsius); lack of sweat; disorientation; loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention.
The most effective way to stay healthy in the heat is to avoid going outdoors between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. — the hottest hours of the day.
If you don’t have air conditioning, go into the basement.
If that’s not an option, find a cool location like a shopping centre or movie theatre where you can stay for a while.
Recognize the individuals in your life who are at-risk and get them out of the heat. Cool them off and give them fluids.
If you have to go out, protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays.
Apply a sunscreen of sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher, at least 20 minutes before going outside.
Be sure the SPF 30 screens out both UVA and UVB rays, and reapply frequently.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. If possible, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover skin.
Drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.
Seek cool areas away from direct sun, in shade or inside air conditioned spaces.
Sometimes a cool bath or shower can help.
Limit outdoor physical activity during the hottest part of the day, or wait until it is cooler.
These guidelines are particularly important for individuals who are at greater risk of suffering from a heat-related illness, such as young children, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
Excessive heat may also aggravate underlying medical illness such as congestive heart failure.

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