as scorchingtirelessly traversing many countries, Canadian tourists traveling abroad can get sick from extreme heat and potentially end up in the hospital.
From thetoward and the temperatures last week ranged from 40-52C in all of these areas.
“The world is in a strange situation right now. ANDit’s playing a key role every season we have and travelers are going to be affected,” said Martin Firestone, president of Travel Secure, an insurance brokerage in Toronto.
“The (wild) fires and extreme heat are taking their toll on travel and certainly insurance companies.”
It may not even be heat stroke that poses an immediate danger; falling onto the scorching pavement could inflict third degree burns during extreme heat,.
For those planning or currently traveling in regions that deal with sky-high temperatures, there are some key precautions to protect yourself against the unrelenting heat.
Cancellation, interruption insurance
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance can be useful for travelers heading to places with extreme heat, Firestone said.
“You don’t know if something will happen to you while you’re there…if you’ll have to go home or stay longer,” he said.
Trip interruption insurance covers additional costs if you need to return home earlier or later than planned, he said.
For example, if you become ill with heat exhaustion while traveling to a foreign country, you may need to extend your stay to recover, and that’s where the trip interruption service comes in handy.
If you plan to travel outside of Canada, even for a day in the United States, you must purchase travel medical insurance before you leave,.
This is because your Canadian health insurance may not pay your medical bills while you are out of the country.
So if you get sick from heat exhaustion, you need to make sure you have the insurance to protect you, Firestone said.
“The bottom line is that any illness related to heat exhaustion will be covered like any other unexpected medical emergency,” he said. “If you got sick, you were in a hotel, for example. They could call the hotel doctor. If they ended up in a hospital emergency room, everything would be covered 100 percent.”
There is no pre-existing clause related to heat exhaustion or anything related to heat, he added.
He stressed the importance of contacting your insurance company immediately if you experience heat-related illness.
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“If you passed out from the heat, and someone from the hotel is going to call an ambulance…you have to contact the insurance company at some point during this and say, ‘I’m in Italy, I’m in this hospital,’ and then they take over and the two parties will talk and agree,” he said.
There are a number of steps you can take if you experience symptoms of extreme heat while traveling.
“You expect your hotel… to have air conditioning and modern air conditioning and not just for the blowing air and you hope there is a pool maybe there too. But at the end of the day, you have to stay hydrated,” Firestone said.
Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious heat-related illnesses, but they differ in their severity and symptoms..
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, muscle cramps, cold clammy skin, goosebumps, low blood pressure, disorientation, and possible vomiting.
It usually occurs after a person has been sweating a lot, causing a loss of fluids and electrolytes.
If you have these symptoms while traveling, you should move to a cool area and drink salty water, the government said. You should then rest in bed and seek medical attention.
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Symptoms of heat stroke include a core body temperature greater than 40C, partial or complete loss of consciousness, reduced cognitive function and cessation of sweating, dilated pupils, and elevated blood pressure. The skin may be red at first and then ashen or purplish, according to the Canadian government.
“Heat stroke is very serious,” the government said. “Call 911 immediately and while waiting for the ambulance, move the person to a cool area and sponge the body with cool water while allowing the water to evaporate to reduce body temperature.”
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