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Southwestern Public Health
Extended Heat Warning Issued In Advance Of Heat Wave

Southwestern Public Health issues advanced warning of hot and humid conditions through Canada Day weekend

Environment Canada is forecasting a hot and humid long weekend for Southwestern Ontario that is expected to create uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous conditions.

Southwestern Public Health is issuing an extended heat warning for Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas starting Saturday, and continuing through Tuesday. High temperatures this weekend are forecasted to reach 32°C with humidex values soaring into the mid-40s. The hot and humid air mass is expected to remain in the region through Tuesday.

An extended heat warning is issued by public health when Environment Canada forecasts the daytime temperature is expected to reach 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for three or more days or humidex is at least 40°C for three or more days.

This extreme heat can lead to heat-related illness including rapid breathing, dizziness or fainting, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and extreme thirst. Young children, pregnant women and seniors are at an increased risk for symptoms of heat-related illness. Those with pre-existing health conditions involving respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and diabetes, are also more susceptible to complications from the heat.

Your body may make less urine, and your urine may be darker in colour. If you or anyone in your care has these symptoms, please move to a shaded or air-conditioned area, drink plenty of fluids, and rest. Seek medical care if the symptoms don’t go away.

Heat strokes are considered a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you or someone you care for has a high body temperature, is unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating.

Friends, family and neighbors should check on those who may need help keeping cool or taking other preventative actions.

Air Quality Health Index

Heat events can also cause poor air quality as heat and sunlight trap pollutants lower in the atmosphere. Poor air quality can affect breathing and make lung conditions and asthma worse, cause throat irritation, affect heart conditions and increase an individual’s risk of stroke.

Residents with health concerns, and those caring for children or seniors should monitor the Air Quality Health Index, referring to the readings for London. The Air Quality Health Index is updated daily with a forecasted air quality rating between 1-10 and associated colours.

As the risk level rises, residents with health concerns and those caring for children and seniors should avoid outdoor activities.

Quick Tips

With Canada Day festivities taking place this long weekend, Southwestern Public Health is advising residents to drink plenty of water and avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors.

Here are some ways to help prevent heat-related illness:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water;
  • Wear a hat and use sunscreen to protect yourself from direct sun exposure;
  • 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;
  • Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity outdoors.

Check with your local municipalities to find out about the location of cooling centers close to you.

For more information on heat-related safety tips, visit www.swpublichealth.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2018 09:59:30 AM EST

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