Seniors, children and people with pre-existing heart or lung conditions should take extra care as the smoke from B.C. wildfires reaches the Saskatchewan. 

People participating in sports or strenuous work outdoors may also be more susceptible, because they are breathing air deeply and rapidly. If you notice smoke in your area , you should avoid going outside if possible.

How smoke conditions may affect your health is determined by a number of factors, such as the length of time you are exposed, how much air you breath in, your health status and the concentration of smoke in the air.

You may experience having a harder time breathing and notice increased coughing, throat irritation and headaches. If the smoke lasts days to weeks or is very heavy, it is possible for it to cause lung problems and a longer-lasting cough. Exposure to smoke can also make heart and lung conditions worse.

If your area is experiencing these smoky conditions then here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Limit outdoor activities, especially if it makes you tired or short of breath.
  • Stay inside and keep windows and doors closed.
  • If you have an air conditioner set it to “re-circulate” and keep it running to help filter the air.
  • Keep an eye out for high risk individuals, particularly those that live alone.

People with heart or lung conditions, including asthma, can do the following:

  • Be especially careful about monitoring your condition.
  • Take all of the medication you are supposed to take and do everything your health care provider has recommended for your condition. Make sure you have a week’s supply of medication available.
  • Have a written asthma management plan if you or a family member has asthma.Talk to your primary health care provider if you have any concerns about your health.

If you or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms you should seek out medical care as soon as possible:

  • A cough that is persistent or worsening.
  • Shortness of breath, beyond what is usually experienced.
  • Chest pain or tightness.Significant weakness or fatigue.

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