Summer is just around the corner and many Canadians are already experiencing the heat. With temperatures soon to approach 30 degrees Celsius and above, it’s time to think about preventing dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
Being outdoors in the sun – mobile and active – and getting Vitamin D from the rays are some of the great benefits of summer. But sadly, the season many of us longed for by mid-March can put us at risk for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and in rare and extreme cases, death.
Without taking proper precautions, all Canadians are vulnerable to heat-related accidents and illnesses. There are, however, groups within our population who are particularly vulnerable and could be monitored more closely. They are:
- Older adults
- Infants and children
- Outdoor workers
- People who exercise daily,and
- Individuals with chronic illness (such as those with asthma, breathing difficulties or heart disease)
When you’re out this summer – whether you are filling up your basket at a U-Pick, enjoying theatre in the park, or biking with the kids – it’s important to keep an eye on your family and others for the signs and symptoms of dehydration:
- dry lips and tongue
- weakness, dizziness, or extreme fatigue
- concentrated urine that appears dark
Tips to stay cool this summer:
When planning a day out, research locations for cooling facilities. This way, if you are far away from home, you can easily locate air-conditioned libraries, government buildings, shopping malls or splash-parks.
- Make sure your family is dressed in light-coloured, loose fitting clothing.
- Do not forget sunscreen and hats.
- When out in the sun, avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol. These drinks can induce the production of urine and promote dehydration.
- Take regular breaks in the shade and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water). If you plan to be outdoors most of the day, pack a cooler with refreshing snacks, food, and beverages for a picnic. Be sure to freeze water in empty leak-proof containers to chill your lunch and become part of the meal.
Chicken Farmers of Canada has many light and refreshing salad recipes to help you plan your next picnic on a warm day. Try these recipes to feel cool and energized for a day of fun.
Watermelon and tomatoes may seem like an unlikely pairing, but the sweetness of the fruit works perfectly with the slight acidity found in the tomatoes. Toss in crisp slices of romaine lettuce, and you’ve got a meal that not only tastes fresh and light, but looks great on your picnic table.
Grapes, water chestnuts and red pepper add lovely texture to this flavourful salad. It’s a great protein-rich lunch to pack in a cooler for a picnic.
This light, refreshing salad is full of flavour thanks to a delicious Teriyaki marinade. Tart cranberries and a sweet raspberry vinaigrette provide mouth-watering contrast in this easy recipe.
Do you love to use fresh fruit and crunchy vegetables in your meals during summer? Share your favourite recipe in our comments.