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Editorial: A hot day at the water park, and everywhere else

While the term 'heat dome, hasn't been used yet, the sun can be scorching, even though summer is still more than a month away
June_4_WillingdonBeach_May_Kelly Keil
The water park at Willingdon Beach [above] was temporarily unavailable for use earlier this week after essential components to operate the system were stolen.

Unseasonal hot weather, which sent temperatures soaring 10 to 15 degrees higher than normal in some communities on May 15, broke more than 30 records in BC, including City of Powell River, where the high reached 30.4 degrees Celsius.

The timing couldn’t have been worse for the theft of electrical components at the Willingdon Beach water park, which was temporarily out of service one day earlier when a thief, or thieves, made off with components necessary for operation. After announcing the park would be down for a few days, the city’s parks department was able to get the flow going again by mid-afternoon on the 15th, a mere 24 hours later, which was a welcome reprieve for visitors to the park looking to cool down.

While the term “heat dome” has thankfully not been used yet, the sun’s rays can be scorching, even though summer is still more than a month away. With rising temperatures becoming the new normal, it’s crucial to prioritize well-being and take necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses when the mercury rises.

During the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 am and 4 pm, limit time spent outdoors, and strenuous activities. Look for shady spots, or create your own by using umbrellas, canopies or sunshades.

Inside, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows in mornings and evenings, and/or using fans or air conditioning systems. If air conditioning is not an option, use a cloth soaked in cold water as a neck wrap, or a spray bottle to mist yourself. Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature and provide relief from the heat.

Check on vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, or those with pre-existing health conditions, who may be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses and require help finding ways to stay cool.

Embrace the summer-like weather, stay properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and keep yourself and others protected from the heat, as more is surely on the way.