he Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:
During an Extreme Heat Alert
Follow Heat Alert Guidelines AND
- Consider cancelling outdoor sports events if possible. Participation in strenuous outdoor activities during extreme heat advisories may be dangerous.
- If possible, move outdoor activities indoors to an air conditioned facility.
- At a minimum, provide fluids every 15 minutes to participants. Plain water or sport beverages or diluted fruit juices are okay.
During a Heat Alert
- Keep cool
- Stay hydrated
- Check on participants and other colleagues
Follow the General Guidelines AND
- Activate your policy or plan for extreme temperatures.
- If possible, extend hours for pools and air-conditioned spaces.
- Limit strenuous activity outdoors.
- Schedule frequent fluid breaks. Plain water or sport beverages or diluted juices are okay.
- Establish a policy and plan to deal with extreme temperatures.
- When outdoors, stay in the shade whenever possible (natural or artificial structures). Especially limit time outdoors when temperatures and UV radiation are most intense, especially between 11a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Monitor daily heat advisories and adjust outdoor activity schedules if possible.
- When in the sun, wear a wide brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, and loose-fitting long shirts and pants.
- Provide a period of acclimatization (“used to” heat) for athletes to prepare for exercise under hot conditions.
- Schedule fluid breaks. Plain water is the liquid of choice but sport beverages or diluted juices are okay.
- Make player substitutions more frequently in the heat and use misting water sprays on the body to keep cool.
- Advise staff and clients to take regularly scheduled indoor breaks to cool off. If possible, schedule shorter work periods for staff who must work outdoors.
- Staff should role model heat and sun safety behaviour.
- Staff should be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.
- Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption.
- When using DEET insect repellent, apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.
Adapted with permission from Peel Public Health