Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver. (Black Press Media file photo)

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver. (Black Press Media file photo)

Cooling centres opening in Chilliwack to help folks beat the heat

Days and nights of high temperatures can pose risk of heat-related illness, say health officials

Heat stress can pose “an immediate danger” to people’s health, especially seniors and those with chronic conditions.

Public health officials released some tips on how to stay safe ahead of the extreme-heat forecast by Environment Canada for the weekend.

Daytime highs will hover around 30C right through the weekend.

City of Chilliwack is opening several cooling centres around town as of Thursday, July 29 until the heat warning is lifted so that residents can seek relief if need be. The Evergreen Hall and Sardis Sports Complex cooling centres opened on Wednesday, July 28.

“Heat stress can pose an immediate danger to health. If you are experiencing any symptoms, it’s important to get out of the sun, find a cool location and hydrate,” said Dr. Emily Newhouse, medical health officer for Fraser Health.

Although they are not calling for temperatures to soar as high as they did at the end of June, back-to-back days and nights of elevated temperatures do pose a risk of heat-related illness, say health officials.

RELATED: Heat hit 43C in Chilliwack on June 28

Cooling centres:

• Evergreen Hall – 9291 Corbould Street (Slesse and Minto Rooms)

• Sardis Sports Complex (Open) – 5725 Tyson Road (Sheet #3)

• Chilliwack Coliseum – 45323 Hodgins Ave (entrance off of Hodgins Avenue)

• Tourism Chilliwack – 44150 Luckakuck Way (Picnic Area*), weekdays, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

The picnic area is outdoors and pet friendly, water will be available for pets

Pets in kennels or carriers are welcome at all locations.

The problem is overnight lows will also rise. If it stays too hot inside, even with windows and doors open, consider moving to a cooler environment. Otherwise, sleep in the coolest area of the home possible, and keep water by the beds to drink through the night.

Coping with heat

There are a variety of mild to severe symptoms linked with heat-related illness, including thirst, dizziness, confusion, weakness and fainting or collapsing.

Take precautions including:

Checking in on others

• People living alone are at high risk of severe heat related illness. Check regularly on those who are unable to leave their homes, for signs of heat-related illness.

• If others are unwell, help move them to a cool indoor or shady space, help them get hydrated and call for medical assistance if appropriate.

Stay hydrated

• Drink cool non-alcoholic beverages (preferably water). Don’t wait until you are thirsty.

• If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask about increasing the amount of water you can drink while the weather is hot.

Keep cool

• Never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. Temperatures can rise to 52°C (125°F) within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 34°C (93°F). Leaving the car windows slightly open or “cracked” will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.

• Seek out an air-conditioned facility (such as a shopping centre, library, community centre, restaurant, or a residence of friends or family).

• Use public splash pools, water parks or pools or take a cool bath or shower.

• At high temperatures, fans alone are not effective. Applying cool water mist or wet towels prior to sitting in front of a fan is a quick way to cool off.

• Dress for the weather by wearing loose, light-weight clothing. Protect yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

• Keep your home cool. Open windows, close shades, use an air conditioner (if you have one) and prepare meals that do not require an oven.

• Avoid sunburn, stay in the shade or use sunscreen with SPF 15 or more.

• Avoid tiring work or exercise in the heat. If you must exercise or conduct strenuous work, drink two to four glasses of non-alcoholic fluids each hour. Limit day time outdoor activity to early morning and evening. Employers should consider delaying or modifying outdoor work during high heat, and providing for hydration and frequent cooling breaks following WorkSafeBC guidance when work continues.

· For more information on heat-related illness, call HealthLink BC at 811.

· Fraser Health Virtual Care is available by calling 1-800-314-0999 or use the web chat from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week at www.fraserhealth.ca/virtualcare

RELATED: Cooling centres were pet-friendly

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City of ChilliwackFraser Health