Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Eastern Ontario Health Unit
EOHU Warns Residents to Take Precautions during Hot and Humid Weather
This summer is seeing unusually warm and humid weather and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit recommends to its residents to use the Humidex chart below to determine when to take precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.
|Humidex|| Degree of Comfort|
|20 - 29|| No discomfort|
|30 - 39|| Some discomfort |
|40 - 45|| Great discomfort; avoid exertion |
|46 and over|| Dangerous; high risk of heat stroke|
General recommendations for high humidex ratings:
If being outdoors is an absolute necessity, drink plenty of liquids and take frequent rest breaks. In hot, humid conditions, there is a considerable risk of heat stroke and sun stroke.
- Humidex of 35 to 39: Certain types of outdoor exercise should be toned down or modified, depending on the age and health of the individual, physical shape, the type of clothes worn, and other weather conditions.
- Humidex of 40 and over (extremely high): All unnecessary activity should be limited.
During extremely hot and humid weather, anyone can suffer heat-related illness when their body is unable to compensate for the extreme temperatures and properly cool. But some groups are more vulnerable than others, including young children, the elderly, people who exercise vigorously or who are involved in strenuous work outdoors for prolonged periods, individuals on medication and the chronically ill.
There are a number of things that people can do to prevent heat-related illness:
- Drink plenty of water and avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar.
- Stay indoors. Stay cool by taking cool showers or wetting your hands, face and the back of your neck.
- Wear light, loose fitting clothes, a hat and sunscreen when outdoors.
- Avoid vigorous exercise in the heat (this includes children as well). If you have a young child or a child with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, do not allow them to partake in sporting events or exercise during heat waves especially when there is a heat/humidity advisory in effect.
- Keep your home cool by limiting the use of your oven/stove.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.
- Keep windows slightly open during the day.
- At night, open windows wide to cool the house.
- Never leave children or pets in a parked car.
- Check up regularly on friends, family and/or neighbours who may be at high risk during a heat wave.
Extreme heat can cause many health problems, including cramps, dizziness, headache, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal if left untreated.
For the complete list of tips and warning signs of illness, click here.
You can also call the Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120 and ask for Health Line.
Source: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care