Practical Tips for Surviving a Heat Wave

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It’s going to be hot hot hot this week which, given how short our summers are, has many people excited and planning their outdoor adventures.  The Store Upstairs has tons of outdoor games and water toys for you to pick from to make the most of this fabulous weather, as well!  But, heat waves are, well—HOT—and that can come with some risks.  So we’ve come up with some practical tips on getting through a heat wave unscathed.

Water, water, water.

Your body needs to be kept hydrated always, but especially in the heat.  And the best sugar-free, cost-free, drama-free substance out there to get the job done is good ‘ole H20.  Bring a full, reusable water bottle with you on any outings, and make sure to refill often!

Water is also a great way to keep your whole body cool!  Splash parks, outdoor pools, safe rivers, water fights—water is so versatile.  Just remember that you still need hydration and rest even when playing in the water!


Light layers.

Sunscreen is your friend, but UV clothing is your bestie.  Rash guards, loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing, big and floppy sunhats, and oversized sunglasses can provide some much-needed protection against the sun’s powerful rays.  Then, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to the areas still exposed and make sure you keep reapplying often.


Get in touch with your feelings.

According to the Government of Canada, too much heat can cause edema, rash, cramps, fainting, exhaustion and heat stroke.  Wowza!  So it’s important to pay attention to how you feel—if you’re dizzy, nauseous, super thirsty, have a headache, or just otherwise don’t feel well, get yourself to a cooler place and get hydrated right away.  And call 911 if someone with you is super hot and is unconscious, confused, or has stopped sweating.  Those are signs of heat stroke, and that is a medical emergency.


Take breaks.

If you’re spending time outside on a hot day, don’t forget to take regular breaks.  Move from the sun to the shade or even indoors, peel off some layers, drink some water, and reapply sunscreen.  Take note of how your body is doing and how those around you are holding up.  Consider a cool shower or hanging out by a fan.  Only head back out when you’re feeling up to it.  Also, remember that the sun is hottest at midday, so consider doing your activities in the morning or early evening instead.


Get some sleep.

Perhaps the most annoying part of a hot day is the hot, sleepless night.  The most obvious solution is whole house or one room air conditioning, but that can get expensive to both buy and maintain.  If AC is not in the cards, make sure your blinds or curtains are closed during the day, open your windows at night, and make sure you have a fan to help rotate the air.  Pinterest also has tons of ingenious hacks to help cool down a room.


Summer brings so many opportunities to play, and the heat-filled days can bring so much joy—with a little caution.  Pay attention to how you feel, take smart steps to avoid issues, and always seek medical attention if you need it.  And stop into the store to pick up the sunscreen, outdoor toys, swimsuits, or hats that you’ll need to make the summer truly magical.


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