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Residents need to take proper precautions due to air conditions

It isn't just a bad smell and bad sight, but the smoky haze could be a health risk as well.

It isn't just a bad smell and bad sight, but the smoky haze could be a health risk as well.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and Prairie North Health Region is warning residents to take precautions because of poor air quality in parts of the province due to smoke from British Columbia forest fires.

"People who are at higher risk, including persons with asthma and other respiratory and heart conditions should consider staying indoors with the windows closed to reduce their exposure to the outdoor air when the air quality is even moderately bad," Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said. "Even otherwise healthy people should also avoid any vigorous outdoor physical activity while there is heavy smoke in the air."

"Many of us will experience irritation in the eyes, nose or throat," explains Dr. Brenda Cholin, Medical Health Officer for Prairie North Health Region. "However, individuals who already have lung or heart problems, the elderly and the very young may develop more serious complications."

The following measures are recommended especially for those at increased risk of health effects from smoke: Remain indoors as much as possible when there is smoke in the air. Keep doors and windows closed. If cooling is needed, use a fan. If you have an air conditioner in your home or car, use the "recycle" or "re-circulate" mode. Reduce exercise and activity, especially outdoors. Avoid smoking. Avoid exposure to second hand smoke. Keep airways moist by drinking water. Breathing through a warm, wet washcloth can also help relieve dryness. If you are on lung or heart medicine, always keep at least a 5-day supply on hand - get a refill of your prescription prior to running out of your medication.

There are several websites that assist in assessing the current situation and level of health risk.

You can determine if you are at risk by going to:?,,?

Anyone with questions about their health can call HealthLine for 24-hour health advice at 1-877-800-0002.

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