Sunshine and high temperatures increase your risk of sunstroke and heat exhaustion—both can be life-threatening for infants, young children and seniors. To avoid this, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drinks. Increase your vitamin C intake—it provides a natural defense against heat stroke, exhaustion and heat rash. Make sure to stay cool by wearing light-coloured clothing and seeking shade often. Never leave children or pets inside a parked vehicle. Additional tips to beat the heat, especially during heat waves and for those who don’t have air conditioning, include the following:
- Open doors and windows and use fans to promote air circulation throughout your home.
- Keep blinds closed.
- Seek refuge in a cooler basement if you have one.
- Avoid large meals, use an outdoor grill and eat fresh foods that don’t require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
- Eliminate extra sources—don’t leave computers or appliances running and avoid using incandescent light bulbs.
- Take cold showers or baths, soak your hands and feet in buckets or bowls of cold water, place ice packs or wet towels on your pulse points (inside of wrists, back of the neck and behind the knees) and use a spray bottle filled with cold water to spritz yourself.
- Visit public buildings with air conditioning, like libraries, art galleries, movie theatres, museums and shopping malls.
- Place your pillowcases or blankets in a bag and pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before going to sleep.
Remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises—ensure they have plenty of cool water to drink. Help keep animal’s body temperature down with cool baths or showers, wet towels or washcloths laid on their skin or the floor and outdoor hoses, sprinklers and pools.