Chatham-Kent Public Health has issued a heat advisory as higher temperatures are forecast for the weekend.
CKPHU officials say it is unknown exactly what temperatures will be reached but Environment Canada will issue a heat warning for our region when maximum temperatures exceed 31°C; minimum temperatures exceed 21°C; or a humidex of 42°C is reached.
The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that extreme heat puts everyone at risk of heat illness.
While everyone is at risk, the risks are greater for older adults, infants and children, those with chronic illness, those that work or exercise in the heat, homeless people and low income earners. If you are taking medications or have a health condition ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk and follow their recommendations.
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;
· 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 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone, such as a neighbour, 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.
Heat illnesses are preventable. The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is advising residents and visitors to pay attention to the temperatures and take precautions:
· Frequently visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.
· Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.
· Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
· Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
· Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
· Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place. It could be a tree-shaded area, swimming facility or an air-conditioned spot such as a public building, shopping mall, grocery store, place of worship or public library.
· Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.
· Prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in your oven.
· Block sun out by closing awnings, curtains, or blinds during the day.
· Avoid sun exposure. Shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella.
For more information contact the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519.352.7270