News & Public Notices
Extreme Heat Health Alert Issued
August 17, 2015 -
A Level 1 – Extreme Heat Health ALERT has been issued by KFL&A Public Health to advise area health professionals and community service providers of an upcoming period of hot and humid weather which may have adverse health effects. According to Environment Canada, the humidex is expected to reach 36 or higher on Monday, August 17, 2015 through Thursday, August 20, 2015. This alert is in effect for the KFL&A area.
A Level 1 – Extreme Heat Health Alert is issued when Environment Canada forecasts 36°C temperature or humidex (and above) for two consecutive days, without an air quality advisory.
Humidex values describe how the hot and humid weather feels to the average person. It combines the temperature and humidity readings into one number to reflect the perceived temperature. The higher the humidex, the harder it is for perspiration to evaporate and cool the body.
Heat-related illness is preventable, and can lead to serious illness and even death. While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for:
- Older adults
- Infants and young children
- People with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or mental health illnesses
- People who take certain mediations (advise them to check with their pharmacist or physician)
- People who work or who exercise in the heat
- Homeless people and low income earners
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness and Know What to Do!
Heat-related illness: Muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting, headache, rapid heart rate, and breathing
- Move to a cool place, rest, drink water, use cool compresses, and fan the body. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
Heat Stroke: Complete or partial loss of consciousness, confusion, elevated temperature, hot dry skin
- CALL 9-1-1, this is a medical emergency. While waiting for help, move the person to a cool area, apply cool water to large areas of their body, and fan the person as much as possible.
KFL&A Public Health recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:
- Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
- Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place.
- Reschedule strenuous outdoor activity or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
- Avoid sun exposure. Shade yourself by sitting under a tree, wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat, or using an umbrella.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
- In your home, block the sun by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.
- Outdoor workers should follow heat stress guidelines from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
- Never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
- Check in frequently with people who are isolated, elderly, have mobility issues, and those who have chronic health conditions. They may have difficulty accessing a cool place and are at high risk of heat related illness and death.
Public health officials urge everyone to be aware of the health impacts of extreme heat and take precautions.