June 18, 2012 – When The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton calls a Heat Advisory please not the following.

In the event that the humidex reading is expected to be 40 or greater for more than one day, the MOH will issue a Heat Warning.

The combination of temperature and humidity can impair the cooling effect of sweating, and increase the risk of heat-related illness. People who are elderly, or have chronic illnesses, mobility problems, or are taking certain medications, along with infants, pre-school children, and those exercising or working vigorously outdoors are at greatest risk.

Risk of heat-related illness can be reduced by following these recommendations:

  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on hot days.
  • Go to an air-conditioned place. Visit a cool place such as a mall, public recreation centres, public libraries, and other City run air-conditioned facilities, etc.
  • Dress to protect from the heat. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing. Wear a hat or take an umbrella to keep your head cool and don’t forget sunscreen.
  • Take it easy. Limit physical activities (walking, running, gardening, etc.) during the day. Protect yourself with insect repellent. Check labels to apply.
  • Cool off. Take a cool bath or shower.
  • Keep your living space cool. Close your blinds or curtains. Open windows to let air circulate when using a fan.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.
  • Check on your neighbours and family.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. If experiencing symptoms, seek help right away – call 911 if needed.

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