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Heat Safety

Before

  • Check local media during the summer for weather warnings.
  • Always check the humidex. It describes how hot, humid weather feels to the average person. A high humidex can be very dangerous to your health.
  • Consider purchasing a portable air conditioner.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.

During

  • Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-coloured clothing that reflects heat and sunlight, and helps your body maintain normal temperatures.
  • When heading outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher).
  • Strenuous activities should be reduced, eliminated, or rescheduled to the coolest time of the day. If working outside in the heat, monitor co-workers and have them do the same for you.
  • Spend time in an air conditioned spaces (i.e., shopping malls, public building, libraries, and community centres). Electric fans will not prevent heat-related illness when the temperature climbs above 35 degrees Celsius!
  • Keep lights off or turned down low.
  • Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables to help the body maintain an appropriate balance. Avoid heavy meals with fatty foods. They can cause the body to increase metabolic heat production which increases water loss.
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids, especially water, even if you are not physically active and even if you are not thirsty. Avoid liquids with alcohol, caffeine, and large amounts of sugar as these actually increase the loss of body fluid. People who have epilepsy, heart/kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets, or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
  • Stay on the lowest floor and out of the sunshine if air-conditioning is not available.
  • Check twice a day on friends and family members who are elderly, medically fragile, or have limited access to adequate cooling.
  • NEVER leave children or pets in parked cars during hot temperatures.
  • Bring pets inside during the hottest time of the day.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade for outdoor pets.