Friday, December 13, 2019

Staying cool in extreme heat

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued an Extended Heat Warning at the beginning of this week with the onset of hot and humid weather.

This warning will continue through the weekend with cooler temperatures expected on Sunday.

Please look for public places in your area to stay cool.

Chatham-Kent Public Library branches are open, please see the list below for times:

– Dresden-187 Brown Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

– Wallaceburg-209 James Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-5:00PM

– Chatham- 120 Queen Street, Saturday: 9:30 AM-5:00 PM

– Blenheim-16 George Street, Saturday: 12:00 PM-4:00 PM

– Bothwell-320 Main Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

– Merlin-13 Aberdeen Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

– Ridgetown-54 Main Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

– Thamesville-3 London Road, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

– Tilbury-2 Queen Street, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

– Wheatley-35 Talbot Road West, Saturday: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

In high temperatures and humidity, your body may not be able to cool properly which can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

An extended heat warning is issued in Chatham-Kent when three or more consecutive days are forecasted to have a daytime high temperature greater than or equal to 31°C and a nighttime temperature greater than or equal to 21°C or a humidex greater than 42 °C.

Symptoms of heat-related illness may include: rapid breathing, dizziness or fainting, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, extreme thirst and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.

If anyone has these symptoms, we suggest the following to cool off as soon as possible: move to a shaded or air conditioned area, drink plenty of fluids, rest and contact your health care practitioner, a friend and/or a family member. Heat strokes are considered a medical emergency.

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature, is unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating. Friends, family and neighbours should check on those who may be vulnerable and subject to any symptoms of overheating and who may need help keeping cool or taking other preventative actions.

CK Public Health would like to remind residents that heat related illness is serious and can affect the elderly, very young, people with chronic illnesses, and even healthy people if they participate in strenuous activities and do not take precautions.

For more information on heat-related illness, visit https://www.chatham-kent.ca/health-social-services/public-health/extreme-weather/HeatRelatedIllness

Ways to help prevent heat-related illness:

– Drink plenty of fluids, especially water

– Never leave anyone or pets in a parked car

– Seek cooler or air conditioned spaces, such as shopping malls, arenas or any other public areas

– If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your health care practitioner or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations

– Check on elderly family members and neighbors daily to make sure they are keeping cool

– Wear light-weight, loose fitting clothing

– Take cool showers or baths, or use cool, wet towels on your face, neck or arms

– The use of a fan alone may not provide enough relief from the heat

– Avoid strenuous activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its hottest

– Avoid going out in the sun, if possible. If you are outdoors, wear sunscreen

– Avoid using your oven

– Keep curtains closed to block sun during the day

For more information, contact CK Public Health at 519.355.1071.

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