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Hot Weather Safety Guidelines: Recreational Facilities

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.
     

General Recommendations

  1. Establish a policy and plan to deal with extreme temperatures.
  2. 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.
  3. Monitor daily heat advisories and adjust outdoor activity schedules if possible.
  4. When in the sun, wear a wide brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, and loose-fitting long shirts and pants.
  5. Provide a period of acclimatization (“used to” heat) for athletes to prepare for exercise under hot conditions.
  6. Schedule fluid breaks. Plain water is the liquid of choice but sport beverages or diluted juices are okay.
  7. Make player substitutions more frequently in the heat and use misting water sprays on the body to keep cool.
  8. 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.
  9. Staff should role model heat and sun safety behaviour.
  10. Staff should be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.
  11. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption.
  12. When using DEET insect repellent, apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.

 Adapted with permission from Peel Public Health