Heat Warning in Effect

July 11, 2016

Huron County, ON – Temperatures and humidex levels are expected to be extreme for the next several days. The Huron County Health Unit is reminding the public to take care to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off.  When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.

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, people who work or who exercise in the heat, and those without air conditioning. Those who take medication or have a health condition should ask their doctor or pharmacist if it increases their health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.

Heat illnesses are preventable, but they can lead to long-term health problems and even death. If any symptoms of heat illness are present (such as dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, or extreme thirst), immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best. The most dangerous heat illness is heat stroke, with symptoms that include complete or partial loss of consciousness or confusion and high body temperature. If caring for someone with these symptoms, call for immediate medical assistance. While waiting for help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool place, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing and fanning the person as much as possible.

“We urge everyone to stay alert and take precautions,” says Public Health Nurse Donna Parsons.  “Remember to frequently visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated”.

The Huron County Health Unit recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.
  • Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place.
  • 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.
  • Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
  • Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

For more information and up-to-date weather conditions, please visit the Environmental Canada website at www.weather.gc.ca. Sign up for weather alerts in your area at www.ecalertme.weather.gc.ca. Follow Environment Canada on Twitter for local weather alerts @ECAlertON160 (Goderich) or @ECAlertON110 (Wingham).

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For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)
Our spokesperson is: Donna Parsons, Public Health Nurse. Our media contact will connect you to our spokesperson on this topic.