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‘A litre for each hour’: Tips for surviving Manitoba summer heat

WATCH: Manitoba's Medical officer Richard Rusk explains the symptoms of heat exhaustion and who is most at risk.

As festival season heats up, health officials and event planners are reminding people to plan ahead to avoid getting side-lined by summer weather.

Folk Festival at Bird’s Hill Provincial Park runs July 5-8. Then there is the Manitoba Air Show near Portage la Prairie July 7-8, and the Morris Stampede July 19-22.

In fact, there is no shortage of events around the province that call Manitobans out into the summer sun.

READ MORE: Scorching heat and high humidity in southern Manitoba

It doesn’t even have to be record breaking weather — normal summer temperatures, in the mid-20s and 30s, can pose health problems with prolonged exposure.

Drinking a sufficient quantity of water is the No. 1 way to beat the heat, suggests Richard Rusk, Manitoba’s medical officer of health.

“For every hour you’re outside… especially in these temperatures… you should be drinking a litre for each hour,” Rusk said.

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RELATED: ‘Be prepared’: Lifesaving Society urging Manitobans to be water-wise

He urges people expecting to be outdoors in the heat to keep an eye on each other. Heat exhaustion can start with a dull, throbbing headache, leading to nausea and fainting.

To reverse the effects of heat exhaustion, Rusk said people should go inside, have a cold shower and re-hydrate.

Rusk warns heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which puts a person at risk of seizures or brain injury. He warns people should seek medical attention or go to the ER if their symptoms become more severe.

“If you’re feeling quite hot but you’re not even sweating, that’s when you really need to think about going in to see a physician,” Rusk said.

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Rusk said there is no hard and fast rule on how long a person should be able to tolerate outdoor conditions — every person is a little different.

READ MORE: Who is most at risk of death during a heat wave like Eastern Canada’s?

However, those who are most susceptible to ill-effects from heat exposure, Rusk explained, are the elderly, young children and those with existing medical conditions.

Winnipeg Folk Festival

If you plan on heading to the Winnipeg Folk Fest, organizers are reminding people to be prepared for the elements.

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“It’s July in Manitoba.  First and foremost we always tell people to bring a hat, bring sunscreen, bring a water bottle,” Lynne Skromeda, executive director said.

“We have 16 different taps all across the festival site so you can get cool, clean, water for free anytime that you want to.”

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WATCH: Global News Morning previews the 2018 Winnipeg Folk Festival with artistic director Chris Frayer.

2018 Winnipeg Folk Festival
2018 Winnipeg Folk Festival

There are also shower stations on the festival grounds and at campsites so people can cool down.

If you or someone else starts to feel the effects of the heat, volunteers at the first aid and wellness tent can help.

“Everybody is trained in emergency medical services, some people are actually emergency doctors or nurses, but otherwise people have their first aid training,” Skromeda said.

Manitoba Air Show

The Manitoba Airshow is also urging its visitors to be prepared for the heat by bringing along hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.

“Guests may also bring a personal-sized umbrella, though beach umbrellas that puncture the ground are not permitted. Guests are encouraged to bring plenty of water, though there will also be vendors on site with water available,” Manitoba Airshow Co – Chair
Peggy May said.

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Bombers Games

For those attending Saturday’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers game, water is permitted but it must be sealed.

“People are allowed to bring water into the stadium up to a litre of water,” Michelle Lissel, Blue Bombers in game host explained.  “It must be in a sealed bottle and of course you’ll be able to refill that at our water towers.”

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