Staying Safe in Hot Weather
Staying Safe in Hot Weather
Although the warm and sunny weather is a treat, hot temperatures come with certain risks. Vancouver Coastal Health is reminding people about hot weather precautions and actions to take. Everyone is at risk for heat-related illness.
- Those most vulnerable to high temperatures include young children, pregnant women, the elderly who are housebound in un-air-conditioned homes, those working or exercising in the heat, persons with chronic heart and lung conditions, persons with mental illness, people living alone in un-air-conditioned homes and those at risk for homelessness.
- If you are taking medication, particularly for mental illness, heart disease or Alzheimer's disease, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.
- Watch for the effects of heat illness: swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and the worsening of some health conditions. More information on heat-related illness from HealthLinkBC.
The City of Richmond encourages everyone to follow Vancouver Coastal Health’s hot weather tips (noted below) and refer to this map for water fountains and places to stay cool in Richmond.
PDF / Larger version of the map
Vancouver Coastal Health Tips
1. Keep cool
- Spend at least several hours every day in an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre or restaurant).
- Use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool bath or shower.
- At high temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying cool water mist or wet towels to your body prior to sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.
- Dress for the weather by wearing loose, lightweight clothing. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Keep your home cool. Open windows (ensuring children are not at risk of falling from them), close shades or blinds, use an air conditioner and prepare meals that do not require an oven.
- Avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
- Avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour. Limit outdoor activity during the day to early morning and evening.
- Visit one of our many air-conditioned facilities:
2. Stay hydrated
- Regularly drink non-alcoholic beverages (preferably water), even if you are not physically active. Don't wait until you are thirsty.
- If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of water you can drink while the weather is hot.
3. Food safety
- It's also important to keep certain foods chilled, to prevent food poisoning. Always refrigerate food and leftovers promptly at 4°C or below. And keep luncheon meats, pasta salads or other perishable foods in an insulated cooler packed with lots of ice or several ice packs.
4. Check on others
- People living alone are at high risk of severe heat-related illness. Check in regularly with anyone who lives alone, particularly older people, those with mental illness and anyone else who is unable to leave their un-air-conditioned homes, for signs of heat-related illness.
- Ask whether people know how to prevent heat-related illness and are taking precautions.
5. NEVER leave children or pets alone in a parked car
- Temperatures can rise to 52°C (125°F) within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 34°C (93°F). Leaving the car windows slightly open or 'cracked' will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.
6. Seek help
- Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you feel dizzy or disoriented call 911. If someone has a high temperature and is unconscious or confused or has stopped sweating move them to a cool shady spot (if safe to do so) call for medical assistance and cool the person right away.
7. Get informed
- Listen to local news and weather channels.
- For more information on heat-related illness, call HealthLinkBC at 811, or visit their website by clicking here.
- Check out the RichmondBC app, available for free download for Apple and Android devices, for a complete listing of activities and programs at all the City’s public facilities. Come swim, skate and hang out with us – the air conditioning is free.