10 Tips to Beat the Heat

1. Air conditioning
Air conditioning may be the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses. If you don’t have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans. Since heat rises, you’ll want to stay on the lower level of your home. You may also want to consider going to public places that have air conditioning such as libraries, malls, movie theatres or cooling centres.

2. Draw the shades
Keep out the mid-day sun (from at least 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.) to reduce the heat in your home.

3. Dress for the heat
Natural fibres, like cotton, will keep you cooler than synthetics. Light coloured clothing reflects the sun and heat more effectively than dark colours.

4. Sleep solo
You’ll keep cooler without the body heat that comes with a spouse, child or family pet sharing your bed. Note: cotton sheets not only absorb sweat, but allow your skin to breathe easier.

5. Take cool showers and baths
While cool showers and baths may be helpful, avoid taking a cool bath or shower immediately after becoming overheated as it could make you nauseated or dizzy. Running cold water over your wrists, soaking your feet in a bowl of cold water or placing a cool cloth at the base of your neck can also help to lower your body temperature.

6. Avoid strenuous activity
Keep exercise or other activities moderate especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must engage in strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, usually in the morning between 4 am. and 7 a.m. Swimming is a good option for summer exercise: it works all the major muscle groups and at the same time helps to lower body temperature.

7. Seek shade
If possible, stay out of the sun. Be sure to wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head.

8. Keep drinking
Drink fluids regularly, particularly water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.

9. Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during a heat wave
On a typical sunny day in Canada, the temperature inside a parked car can exceed 50°C (122°F) in only 10-20 minutes. This high temperature could kill a child in less than 40 minutes, experts say. Cracking open the window does not keep the temperature at a safe level.

10. Be a good neighbour
Make a special effort to check regularly on your neighbours, friends or family members during periods of intense heat, especially if they are older adults, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions or special needs.

Source: CDC