This Version Posted: October 28, 2020
First Heat Wave of Year For Region Brings a Reminder to Keep Your Cool During Extreme Temperatures
The first wave of hot, humid weather is about to arrive, prompting Environment Canada to issue an alert for the next few days about high temperatures and humidex values.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is urging residents in Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes to take precautions to beat the heat. Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke can be very dangerous, especially for infants, older adults, and people with chronic diseases. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, headache, fainting, paleness, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea.
“If people experience any heat-related illness or symptoms, they should seek medical attention,” says Melissa Johnstone, Emergency Management Coordinator with the Health Unit. “As we head into the warmer weather months with more heat events, it’s important not to overdo things and instead drink plenty of water and seek out cool places.”
The Health Unit will issue public warnings in the leadup to extremely warm conditions in its region. A heat warning will be issued when day-time temperatures are forecast to be 31°C or higher, with a minimum day-time low of 20°C or higher, for two consecutive days. A heat warning is also issued if the humidex will be 40°C or higher for two consecutive days. The Health Unit will issue an extended heat warning when the same conditions apply, but the heat event is expected to last for three or more days in a row. Notifications will be posted on the Health Unit’s Facebook page, Twitter page, and website.
During any heat wave, the Health Unit advises people to:
- Avoid going out in the sun or heat when possible.
- Stay cool, and if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, seek a cool public location such as a municipal cooling center to cool down while following physical distancing rules during this time of COVID-19. To see if there is a cooling centre in your community, contact your local municipality.
- When outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. If you plan to go outside during a very hot day, do so early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
- Avoid outdoor sports and physical activity.
- Wear loose-fitting, light clothing and a wide brimmed hat.
- Drink lots of water, even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Avoid alcohol, coffee/tea and pop.
- Check in regularly with vulnerable family, friends, neighbours and others who could be affected by the heat. These include children, older adults, and persons with chronic illnesses. Make sure they are OK and are well-hydrated.
- Eat light, cool foods, and avoid heavy meals that involve using the oven or other hot appliances.
- Keep shades, drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows open slightly. If you do not have air conditioning, use fans.
- Keep lights off or turned low.
- Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels.
- Never leave a child or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.