Heat advisory issued by the Sudbury and District Health Unit

MANITOULIN–With hot, humid weather forecast for the next few days, the Sudbury and District Health Unit (SDHU) has issued a heat advisory for residents of Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. A heat advisory is issued when the humidex is expected to be 36 or higher for at least two consecutive days. The humidex is a scale that indicates the level of personal discomfort resulting from a combination of heat and humidity.

Exposure to extreme heat can lead to illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and in extreme cases, death. Those most at risk for developing heat-related illnesses during periods of hot, humid weather include the very young, the elderly, people who exercise vigorously or who are involved in strenuous work outdoors for prolonged periods, and the chronically ill.

“However, anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Division. “Everyone should take precautions.”

The Health Unit offers the following tips on how to prevent heat-related illness:
· Stay cool by wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting, and lightweight clothing.
· Drink lots of water. Avoid drinks made with alcohol or caffeine.
· Avoid going out in the sun or heat when possible.
· Keep electric lights off or turned down low.
· Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels.
· Take lots of rest breaks, preferably in the shade or in an air-conditioned area such as a library, community centre, shopping mall or a cooler area of your building.
· Avoid heavy meals and using your oven.
· Place a dish of ice cubes in front of your electric fan. It has a cooling effect.
· Check in at least once a day on family, friends, and neighbours who may have difficulty dealing with the heat.

Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. They include rapid breathing, weakness or fainting, more tiredness than usual, headache and confusion. If you or someone in your care experiences these symptoms, contact a health care professional, friend or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.

For more information on preventing heat-related illness, please call the Sudbury and District Health Unit at 705-522-9200, ext. 398, toll-free 1-866-522-9200, or visit www.sdhu.com.