Central Albertans cautioned about warm weather
Hot weather that feels like the mid-30s in Central Alberta has led Alberta Health to warn people to protect themselves.
Red Deer on Wednesday hit a high of 27C. However, with the humidity it felt warmer, more like 32C.
Warm, sunny weather is to continue this week.
The humidex — a parameter that combines temperature and humidity in order to reflect the perceived temperature — could continue to be higher than what Prairie residents are used to.
A combination of high moisture levels and increased air flow from the south have led to a higher than usual humidex.
“We want to remind Albertans to take the proper precautions to stay healthy and safe during this stretch of hot weather,” Dr. Martin Lavoie, deputy chief medical officer of health for Alberta, said Wednesday.
“It’s extremely important for people to stay hydrated and stay cool. Normal activities that you may do during cooler weather can pose serious heat-related illnesses under these conditions.”
Sections of Central and Southern Alberta were expected to be hardest hit Wednesday and through the remainder of the week.
To avoid sunburns and heat-related exhaustion, Alberta Health says:
• Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least SPF 30, at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors. Be sure it screens out UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply frequently (as directed on the product label).
•Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses (with a UVA/UVB CSA certified seal).
• Wear light-coloured long pants and long-sleeved shirts that cover skin.
• Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated, even before you feel thirsty.
• Consider rescheduling activities to cooler hours of the day.
• Take frequent breaks from heat, spending time inside cool buildings (like malls or libraries) or indoor pools.
• Keep an eye on weather forecasts, as weather conditions can change quickly.
Hot weather can also cause heat stroke. Symptoms include high body temperature, lack of sweat, disorientation, fainting and unconsciousness. If a person shows symptoms of heat stroke, get medical attention immediately. While awaiting medical attention, the person should be moved to a shaded area, and outer clothing and shoes should then be removed. Wrap the person in a cool, wet towel until medical care is provided.
“We’re asking the public to pay close attention to vulnerable people, including young children, older adults, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and people who are socially-isolated, to make sure they are cool and hydrated,” said Lavoie.
People are also reminded to never leave children, vulnerable adults or pets alone in a vehicle — even with the window down — as the temperature inside can be several degrees warmer than the air outside.