The Heat Warning, which began Friday, September 22, 2017, is being extended given the hot, humid weather in the forecast. Extended Heat Warnings remain in effect while the weather stays at 29 degrees Celsius or above during the day and 18 degrees Celsius or above at night or the humidex reaches 36 or above.
“Frequently check on your friends, neighbours, and relatives, especially if they are at higher risk of heat-related illness to ensure that they are staying cool and hydrated,” said Burgess Hawkins, a manager with the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Division.
Continuous exposure to high levels of heat can lead to dehydration and illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat oedema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash, heat cramps (muscle cramps), and even death. People who are at higher risk include older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, people who are homeless, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs, and those who work or exercise in the heat. Those who take medications or have a health condition should consult their doctor or pharmacist to determine if they are at increased risk from the heat and follow their recommendations.
Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you or someone in your care experience these symptoms, contact a healthcare professional, friend, or family member for help. In emergencies, call 911.
Take precautions and stay cool during this time of high temperatures. Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place, for example, in a tree-shaded area, swimming facility, or an air-conditioned public building, shopping mall, grocery store, place of worship, or public library. Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Avoid sun exposure by shading yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella, and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.