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Where can you cool down in New West this summer?

From misting stations to air-conditioned facilities: City of New Westminster and Fraser Health share tips on beating the heat
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Cool down: Misting stations, like this one outside the New Westminster Public Library, are being installed at 15 locations in New West. photo Theresa McManus

Misting stations are one of the places local folks can go to cool down on hot summer days.

Last summer, the City of New Westminster began introducing seasonal misting stations in a number of locations around the city as an easy way for people and pets to cool down in extreme heat. As part of the city’s cooling strategy to help keep people cool and hydrated during hot weather, 15 misting stations are being installed in locations around the city, including the New Westminster Public Library, Century House, Tipperary Park and Port Royal Park.

As of July 13, the Weather Network forecasts mainly sunny skies and warm weather for the next week. Temperatures in New West are expected to reach 28C (feels like 32C) on Saturday, July 15 and 27C (feels like 31C) on Sunday, July 16; temperatures will drop on Monday and Tuesday before rising again next Wednesday and Thursday.

If your home is heating up and you need a place to cool down, the City of New Westminster has some other ideas on places to go to beat the heat.

The following facilities have air conditioning and are ready to welcome folks in need of a place to cool down: Century House – 620 Eighth St.; Queensborough Community Centre – 920 Ewen Ave.; New Westminster Public Library – 716 Sixth Ave.; and Anvil Centre – 777 Columbia St.

Several New West parks – Moody, Hume, Queen’s, Sapperton and Ryall – are home to spray parks, while Grimston Park has a wading pool. Outdoor pools are located in Moody Park and Hume Park; registration is recommended but some drop-in spaces may be available.

More details about staying cool in New Westminster are found at www.newwestcity.ca/staycool.

Cool-down tips

Fraser Health has also provided some tips to help folks weather hot summer days. These include:

* Finding some indoor spaces where you can cool off on hot days, such as libraries, community centres, movie theatres or malls. Because temperatures may be hotter inside than outside, people should consider outdoor spaces with lots of shade and running water.

* Shutting windows and closing curtains and blinds during the heat of the day to block the sun and prevent hotter outdoor air from coming inside. Fraser Health recommends opening doors and windows when it is cooler outside to move that cooler air indoors.

* Ensuring that you have a working fan – but don’t rely on fans as your primary means of cooling. Fans can be used to draw cooler late-evening, overnight and early-morning air indoors. “Keep track of temperatures in your home using a thermostat or thermometer. Sustained indoor temperatures over 31C can be dangerous for people who are susceptible to heat,” states Fraser Health.

* Drinking plenty of water and other liquids to stay hydrated, even if you are not thirsty.

* Spraying your body with water, wearing a damp shirt, taking a cool shower or bath, or sitting with part of your body in water to cool down.

* Taking it easy, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

* Taking immediate action to cool down if you are overheating. Signs of overheating include feeling unwell, headache and dizziness. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, severe headache, muscle cramps, extreme thirst and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek a cooler environment, drink plenty of water, rest and use water to cool your body,” stated Fraser Health. “Signs of heat stroke include loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion, severe nausea or vomiting and very dark urine or no urine. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.”

Visit www.fraserhealth.ca/sunsafety for more information about the health impacts of heat, and tips and resources to help stay safe and cool.

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