The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reminding everyone who will be out enjoying the summer weather to take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of heat-related illness. With the current Environment Canada forecast calling for hot temperatures and high humidity, the Health Unit is issuing a one-day Heat Alert. The expected high of 31º Celsius today and a humidex reading expected to reach 35, meet the MLHU’s criteria for issuing the Alert. The Alert will only be in effect for today as overnight temperatures are expected to fall to 17º Celsius and showers are expected for Tuesday.
“Many people across the region are enjoying holidays this week and their planned activities may include spending time outdoors taking part in fun summer activities. Some of the important things to add to those plans are a hat, light clothing and of course plenty of water to drink,” says Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “It is vitally important to build those things into your summer fun plans, and that also includes using sunscreen and taking frequent breaks from the heat and cooling off in an air-conditioned space or even taking a cool bath.”
The Health Unit also recommends continuing to follow public health guidance that limits the potential spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask or face covering, maintaining six-feet of physical distance from others and cleaning your hands frequently. In addition, people are reminded of the following tips to avoid potential heat-related illnesses:
- Drink plenty of water and natural juices throughout the day, even if you don't feel very thirsty. Remember to take sips often and not to guzzle your drink.
- Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee and cola.
- When possible, avoid spending too much time outdoors. If you must be outside, seek shade as much as possible. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
- Keep shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home.
- Avoid turning on electric lights in your home.
- Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
- Wear loose fitting, light clothing.
- Avoid eating heavy meals and using your oven.
- Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity.
- Use fans to draw cool air at night, but do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device during extended periods of excessive heat.
- Reduce the use of personal vehicles, stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides and gas-powered small engines.
Visit: www.healthunit.com/extreme-heat for more information on heat-related illness.
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit,
519-663-5317, extension 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)
Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector, Middlesex-London Health Unit