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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Extreme Heat Alert Extended Until Sunday

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London, ON – The hot, hazy and humid weather is going to linger in the Middlesex-London area for the next few days, prompting an extension to the region’s current HEAT ALERT. Environment Canada’s decision to extend the current Humidex advisory for areas of southwestern Ontario has prompted the Medical Officer of Health continue the alert issued on Tuesday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 7th. While Humidex values for Saturday are expected to reach into the low 40s, the humidity is expected to drop Sunday, at which time the Heat Alert will be lifted.

“With the arrival of the weekend, people will be spending time outside, so it’s important to remember to wear loose-fitting light clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and to keep water close at hand,” says Iqbal Kalsi, Manager of Environmental Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “It’s also a good idea to find cool places to get a break from the heat, including pools, splash pads, community centres, and any of the cooling centres listed on the City of London website.”

Overexposure to extreme heat and weather conditions can lead to Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Heat Exhaustion can lead to Heat Stroke and is characterized by heavy sweating, rapid breathing and a quick and weak pulse. Heat Stroke occurs when the body is no longer able to keep itself cool; the body’s core temperature rises above 40.6°C (105.1°F), the skin becomes dry, the pulse becomes rapid and strong, and the individual becomes dizzy.

To avoid heat-related illness, please follow these tips:

  • 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.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola
  • Avoid going out in the blazing sun or heat when possible. If you must go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. Plan any necessary outdoor activities in early morning or evening
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat outdoors
  • Keep window shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home
  • Keep electric lights off or turned down low
  • 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
  • Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight
  • 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.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the side effects of your medications
  • Reduce the use of personal vehicles, stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides and gas-powered small engines.

If you experience any of the following symptoms of heat illness, seek help from a friend, relative or a doctor:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness or fainting
  • More tiredness than usual
  • Headache
  • Confusion

Friends and relatives can help someone with heat illness by doing the following:

  • Call for help
  • Move the person to a cooler location
  • Remove excess clothing from the person
  • Cool the person with lukewarm water, by sponging or bathing
  • Give the person sips of cool water if they are not nauseated or vomiting. Do not give ice cold water.

As an owner or operator of residential buildings, landlords can take these actions to decrease the risk of heat-related illness to your residents:

  • Provide residents access to a cooler spot for several hours at a time, e.g. a common room with air conditioning or a basement area.
  • Keep windows in hallways slightly open to allow air to circulate.
  • 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.
  • Provide heat safety information to residents or post the information in common areas e.g. by the elevator, in the lobby.
  • Have building staff check on at-risk residents every few hours.
  • Advise residents to drink lots of water and natural fruit juices even if they don't feel thirsty.
  • Ask residents to keep windows open and the drapes drawn.
  • Keep lights off. Do not use stove or oven.
  • Suggest residents cool down with cool baths, showers, foot baths or by placing cool, wet towels on their necks or underarms.
  • Suggest tenants avoid midday sun or heat and go outside in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

Local agencies that provide shelter to the homeless and to other vulnerable populations are also being advised to prepare for an increased demand on their services as people in need seek places to keep cool.

As part of the extension of the Heat Alert, the City of London will have Community Centres, splash pads and wading and swimming pools available as cooling centres. For a listing of locations and times please visit the City's web site at

For the addresses of local libraries, please call 519-661-4600.

For 24-hour-a-day free advice from a Health Professional, call Telehealth Ontario, seven days a week at 1-866-797-0000.

For information about pet care please contact the London Animal Care Centre 519-685-1330 or visit

For information on heat-related illness, or the effects of smog and humidity please contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit at 519-663-5317.

Media Contact:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit 519-663-5317 ext. 2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)

Iqbal Kalsi, Manager of Environmental Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit

Tags: news, media release, weather, alert