Saturday, August 8, 2020

Tips on how to deal with the heat

With the prediction of hot and/or humid weather for Thursday through Sunday, and potentially into early next week, Environment Canada has issued a Heat Warning.

The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has also issued some tips on how to deal with the heat.

“In high temperatures and humidity, your body may not be able to cool properly which can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke,” Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit officials said in a media release.

“A heat warning is issued in Chatham-Kent when two consecutive days or more 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.”

Health Unit officials say 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, the Health Unit suggests the following to cool off as soon as possible: move to a shaded or air conditioned area, drink plenty of fluids, and rest, contact your health care practitioner, a friend and/or a family member.

“Heat strokes are considered a medical emergency,” Health Unit officials say.

“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 neighbors should check on those who may be vulnerable, subject to overheating, and who may need help keeping cool or taking other preventative actions. When providing heat related assistance, ensure to take COVID-19 precautions.”

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, Health Unit officials added.

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.

– If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your health care practitioner or pharmacist if heat increases your health risk, 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 heavy meals and using your oven.

Keep curtains closed to block sun during the day.

To learn more about heat alerts and how to protect yourself from heat related illnesses, visit the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit website, here.

For more information, call 519-355-1071.

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