Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement for eastern Ontario as we are experiencing an episode of high heat early in the season while people are not yet acclimatized to warm temperatures. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is advising residents of the five Eastern Counties to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Everyone is at risk during a heat event, but health risks are greater for: older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses, people who work in the heat, people who exercise in the heat, homeless people and low-income earners.
Heat illnesses are preventable. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of a heat illness:
Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and heat cramps (muscle cramps). Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include: dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine. If you experience any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating. While waiting for help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool place if you can, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing, and fanning the person as much as possible.
The EOHU urges everyone to stay alert and take precautions. Remember to frequently visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.
For Environment and Climate Change Canada’s weather alert updates, visit: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=son. You can also download their new WeatherCAN app to receive weather alert notifications for your area, at www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/weather-general-tools-resources/weathercan.html
For more information, visit www.EOHU.ca/heat or call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.