Canmore Fire-Rescue wants you to have a memorable, safe summer. Check out the following top 10 summer safety tips from Alberta Health Services, Canadian Red Cross, and Alberta Blue Cross to make sure you and your family have a fun and safe summer.
Practice sun safety
Avoid sunburns by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least SPF 30. Generously apply it 20 minutes before going outside—and reapply frequently. Don’t forget about your face and eyes—protect them by wearing a hat and sunglasses with an ultraviolet (UV) A/B certified seal. You may get a more severe sunburn depending on:
- The time of day. You are more likely to get a sunburn between 11 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are the strongest. You might think the chance of getting a sunburn on cloudy days is less, but the sun's damaging UV light can pass through clouds.
- Whether you are near reflective surfaces, such as water, concrete, snow, and ice. All of these reflect the sun's rays and can cause sunburns.
- The season of the year. The position of the sun on summer days can cause a more severe sunburn.
- Altitude. It is easy to get sunburned at higher altitudes, because there is less of the earth's atmosphere to block the sunlight. UV exposure increases about 4% for every 300 m (1000 ft) gain in elevation.
Stay cool and hydrated
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. It is important to protect yourself from dehydration at high elevations. Take water with you when you exercise, or exercise early in the day or later in the evening when it is cooler. Drink 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.
Be safe in and on the water
When visiting bodies of water, make sure you and your family are equipped with life jackets that are properly fitted to each individual and approved by Transport Canada. Never underestimate the power of current. Swimmers or waders can be swept away in an instant, particularly if non-swimmers or weak swimmers get caught by currents in rivers or out of their depth in abrupt drop-offs. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so never leave them unsupervised in or near water.
Hypothermia occurs when the body gets cold and loses heat faster than the body can make it - even in the summer. Your body temperature can drop to a low level at temperatures of 10°C or higher in wet and windy weather, or if you are in 16°C to 21°C water. Hypothermia is an emergency condition and can quickly lead to unconsciousness and death if heat loss continues. If someone begins to shiver violently, stumble, or can't respond to questions, it may be hypothermia and you need to warm him or her quickly.