Leading into the Victoria Day long weekend, the region is getting a taste of summer, prompting the Middlesex-London Health Unit to issue a Heat Alert for today. The current Environment Canada forecast calls for temperatures to reach 31º Celsius, meeting the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s Heat Alert threshold. Although the Heat Alert is only in effect for one day, the rest of the long weekend is expected to have temperatures just below the Health Unit’s benchmark, prompting a reminder to residents to be sun smart and beat the heat all weekend long.
“This very warm weather, combined with the coming holiday long weekend, will make it tempting to participate in summertime activities outdoors, but it’s important to remember that we’re still under a stay-at-home order so be conscious of the risk of COVID-19 when enjoying the weather,” says Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Remember, when outside, to cover exposed skin, use sunblock, and wear a hat to protect against the intense heat of the sun. Ensure to drink plenty of water and don’t overexert yourself while in the heat. Please also follow current public health guidance including maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a mask to keep each other safe.”
The Health Unit recommends the following tips to avoid the risks of 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.
- 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.
Carolynne Gabriel, Communications Coordinator, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-663-5317 ext. 2561 or 519-617-0534 (cell.)
Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector, Middlesex-London Health Unit