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Anticipation of Summer's Hottest Day Leads to our Region's Fifth Heat Alert (July 16/12)

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London, ON – The hot, hazy and humid summer weather that has bathed the Middlesex-London area in sweltering temperatures is going to be turned up a notch tomorrow. With a forecast daytime high of 35º Celsius combined with an Environment Canada Humidex Advisory, that will result in humidex values close to 45, the Medical Officer of Health has issued the fifth Heat Alert of the summer of 2012. The Heat Advisory will only be in effect for Tuesday, July 17th. A humidex value of 40 or more is one of the Health Unit’s triggers for a Heat Alert.

A cold front is expected to move through the region on Wednesday, bringing slightly cooler and drier conditions for the rest of the week. Temperatures are expected to remain close to 30º Celsius, while humidex values are forecast to stay in the low to mid 30s.

“Tomorrow’s temperatures are going to be the hottest we’ve had all summer, so we want to emphasize the precautions people need to take when this kind of heat comes our way,” says Iqbal Kalsi, Manager of Environmental Health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real health risks, so it’s essential to not only plan to take breaks from the heat, but also drink plenty of water, wear light clothes and a wide-brimmed hat that provides coverage from the sun.”

Residents who find they are experiencing symptoms associated with extreme temperature conditions should seek medical attention immediately, either by calling 911 or by going to the nearest Emergency Department.

City of London pools, splash pads and community centres can provide relief from the heat; for a complete list of locations and opening hours visit:

Follow these tips to avoid heat-related illness:

  • 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.

Seek help if you experience any of the following symptoms of heat illness:

  • 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, a landlord 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.

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

For a listing of City of London community centres, pools and splash pads and their hours of operation visit the city's web site at or call 519-661-5575.

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

Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for free advice from a Health Professional, 24/7.

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

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