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Public Service Announcement

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Precautions to take during extreme heat

Jul 19, 2011
With extreme heat expected to continue most of the week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is issuing a reminder that you need to protect your health when temperatures soar by preparing for the heat, staying cool, and keeping hydrated.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – With extreme heat expected to continue most of the week, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is issuing a reminder that you need to protect your health when temperatures soar by preparing for the heat, staying cool, and keeping hydrated.

Prepare for the heat by keeping your home cool. Block the sun by closing curtains and blinds during the day. If you don’t have air conditioning, take a break by finding a cool place like a tree-shaded area, swimming facility or an air conditioned spot like a shopping mall or library.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of cool liquids, particularly before you are thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you are planning outdoor activities, do them during cooler times of the day and avoid the sun.

While everyone is at risk to the effects of extreme heat, some individuals are more susceptible than others. They include:

  •  infants and children,
  •  seniors,
  •  the homeless,
  •  pregnant women,
  •  individuals who are ill or on certain medications, and
  •  individuals who work, exercise vigorously or play sports outdoors.

Heat illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overwhelmed and the body’s core temperature increases. Sweating helps cool the body but when the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly. This will prevent the body from releasing heat quickly. High core temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs. 

Signs of heat illness include:

  •  dizziness or fainting
  •  nausea or vomiting
  •  headache
  •  unusually rapid breathing and heartbeats
  •  and extreme thirst. 

If you experience any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids.  Water is best. 

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat illness. If you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating – call 911 or your local emergency number.

For more information on extreme heat and how to protect your health, call Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to speak with a public health professional or visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

 

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