Peel Health recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:
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.
During a Heat Alert
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.
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.
Signs and Treatment
Sunburn: redness, pain, swelling of skin, blisters, fever and headaches.
leave water blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection. If breaking of blister occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious cases should be seen by a physician.
Heat Cramps: heavy sweating can cause painful muscle spasms usually in the legs but possible in the abdomen
apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm; give sips of water, if nausea occurs discontinue sips of water, move person to a cooler place to rest in a comfortable position. Observe the person carefully for changes in condition.
Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting, core temperature usually 38.8 Celsius or higher, but normal temperature is possible.
get person out of sun, move person to a cooler environment, lay person down and loosen clothing, apply cool wet cloths, give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue sips of water; if vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
Heatstroke: severe medical emergency, high body temperature (41 degrees Celsius or higher), hot, dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness
Call 911, if unable to get person to medical help immediately, do the following:
Move person to a cooler environment
Remove outer clothing
Reduce body temperature using lukewarm (not cold) water to bathe/sponge the person