Staying cool during summer-like temperatures in Waterloo region
Splash pads were busy Wednesday morning, as many hope to beat the heat during summer-like conditions this week.
In Kitchener, nine splash pads have been opened to the public since May 13 and will remain open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The splash pad at Victoria Park was busy with people of all ages trying to keep cool in the hot sun on Wednesday.
“We’re here at the waterpark today. [We] try to stick to the shade as much as possible and drink lots of water,” said one park-goer.
“With a new baby – it’s really just about making sure the temperatures don’t get too uncomfortable,” said another park goer.
In Waterloo, two splash pads are scheduled to open June 1 and will remain opened daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
In Cambridge, the city opened its large primary splash pads on Tuesday, more than two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. They will remain opened daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
STAYING COOL AND SAFE
Able Air KW has seen a quick uptick in calls for air conditioning service this week – whether that be for repairs or installations.
“By the end of a week like this when it’s hot out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see us booking three days, four days, even maybe a week in advance,” Alex Baker, a service technician with Able Air KW, said.
Technicians recommend home and property owners ensure their indoor furnace filters are clean, and that their outdoor air conditioning unit covers are removed before turning their air on.
“Now is the time when everybody is really getting their AC turned on,” Baker said.
“It’s a good idea for those homeowners to make sure covers are off their AC outside, because running an AC with a cover on can do a lot of damage really quickly.”
In order for people to stay safe during the heat, Region of Waterloo public health officials suggested to take breaks in air conditioned spaces, hydrate with water or other non-alcoholic beverages, avoid peak hours of sun in the middle of the day and to check in on vulnerable people.
“Older adults, especially for those who are living alone with no air conditioning, you might want to just give them a call and make sure they’re doing okay,” Brandie Bevis said, a health promotion and research analyst with Region of Waterloo public health
“Also, people who are in your care like children. They need your care to make sure that they are dressed appropriately and are nice and hydrated.”
Bevis said people should keep an eye out for heat-related illness.
“Some signs and symptoms of heat-related illness might be feeling dizzy, nauseous or feeling faint, and these might lead to heat exhaustion,” Bevis said.
“Heat stroke is when your internal body temperature is higher than 40 and that is an emergency. If someone has been in hot weather all day and they’ve never had a break and they’re feeling really hot and sweat, they might even stop sweating and go into heat stroke. You want to make sure you call emergency services for that.”
Animals are also at risk when the temperature is hot.
The Humane Society Kitchener, Waterloo and Stratford Perth recommends watching a pet’s mannerisms to make sure they are comfortable and safe.
“Are they panting more heavily? Are they picking up their feet off the pavement? Maybe that pavement is hot, and you can test that yourself,” Calla James with the Humane Society of Kitchener, Waterloo and Stratford Perth said.
Just like in humans, excessive exposure to the heat could lead an animal to heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.
“With heat stroke, you’re going to see things like purple gums, excessive panting and the pet may be unresponsive or even collapse. In that case, you need to seek medical advice right away,” James said.
The Humane Society is also reminding all pet owners never to leave an animal unattended in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes.
If anyone sees an animal in a car, the Humane Society recommends contacting police