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Beat the heat this summer

By Matthew Cheung

Published 3:37 PDT, Thu June 30, 2022

Almost one year after the record-setting 2021 heat wave, there was a heat warning in place for most of Metro Vancouver—including Richmond—late in June.

With temperatures reaching as high as 25.3 degrees Celsius at Vancouver International Airport (on June 27), the summer will only get hotter, resulting in a possible increase in heat related illnesses. Effects of heat related illnesses include swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and the worsening of some health conditions, according to the Government of Canada. 

People who are at risk include seniors aged 65-plus, infants, and young children, as well as people who live alone, have pre-existing health conditions, have mental illnesses or substance use disorders, work in hot environments, are pregnant, or have limited mobility. If air conditioning is not accessible, these individuals should be checked on regularly, and if needed taken to cooling centres or helped with cooling.  

In Richmond, community centres and public libraries are open during regular hours for people to sit down, cool off, and access cleaner air. The Richmond Art Gallery and Richmond Museum are also available during regular hours, Mondays through Saturdays.  

There is also an outdoor tent at Richmond Nature Park and pop-up covered spaces at Dover Park, McLean Park, Paulik Park, and Steveston Park. The shelter at Richmond Nature Park will be available during park hours and the pop-up covered spaces will be set up if needed. 

For children and parents, spray parks are open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Steveston, King George, Dixon, and Burkeville parks. The waterplay area in Lang Park opens on July 9 with more limited hours. Misting stations have been set up at Garry Point, Dover Park, Paulik Park, and Richmond Nature Park, as well as temporary misting stations that were placed at select community centres, including Thompson Community Centre, last year.

Water fountains can be found at various locations, providing clean drinking water. The city also has drop-in pools and arenas, as well as the Richmond Olympic Oval, which will be open during regular operating hours.

The city advises residents to do their best to stay cool, stay hydrated, make sure food is safely stored, and check on others as well as on pets. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of heat related illness, offer assistance by providing water and bringing them to a cool shady spot. Animals and children should not be left in hot cars.  

Air conditioning units can also be purchased from some hardware stores.

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