Avoid heat-related illness during heat wave

July 21, 2016

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) has issued an extended heat warning as the high temperatures and humidity currently being experienced in the region are expected to last through to Saturday, July 23. The heat warning will remain in effect until temperatures drop below 20 degrees Celsius, which is not expected until Saturday evening.

The combination of high temperatures and humidity can be very dangerous, resulting in heat-related illness that could require medical attention. LHSC and the MLHU recommends that anyone who is suffering from symptoms associated with extreme temperatures should seek immediate medical attention by either calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department. 

The Middlesex London Health Unit has recommended following these tips to avoid 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.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola.
  • Where possible, avoid spending too much time outdoors. If you must be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
  • Keep window shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home.
  • Avoid turning on electric lights in the 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.
  • Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight.
  • 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.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you are taking.
  • Reduce the use of personal vehicles, stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides and gas-powered small engines.

For more information including signs of heat-related illness and how to help someone experiencing them, please visit the Middlesex London Health Unit website.