Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/August 3, 2018 - Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is issuing a heat warning to advise residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties of the predicted prolonged hot and humid weather starting on the Civic Holiday long weekend. According to Environment Canada, the hot weather conditions will start Sunday, August 5, 2018 and persist until Tuesday August 7, 2018. Daytime high temperatures are anticipated to be in the low- to mid-thirties; overnight low temperatures may not go below twenty degrees Celsius.
An extreme heat event can lead to adverse health effects. Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and heat cramps (muscle cramps).
Environment and Climate Change Canada issues a heat warning in Southern Ontario when there will be 2 consecutive days of:
- 31°C or more (day time) AND 20°C or more (night time) ORHumidex* values of 40°C or more
* Humidex values describe how the hot and humid weather feels to the average person. It combines the temperature and humidity readings into one number to reflect the perceived temperature. The higher the humidex, the harder it is for perspiration to evaporate to cool the body.
Heat events put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, but health risks are greatest for:
- older adults;
- infants and young children;
- people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties or heart conditions;
- people who work or exercise in the heat;
- homeless people; and
- people without access to air conditioning.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include:
- dizziness, headache or fainting;
- nausea or vomiting;
- rapid breathing and heartbeat;
- extreme thirst; and
- decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.
If you experience any of these symptoms during a heat event, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.
Heat illnesses are preventable. During extreme heat, the most important thing is to keep cool and hydrated. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health recommends taking the following actions:
- stay well hydrated, drink before feeling thirsty (plain water is best);
- stay in an air-conditioned place (home, shopping mall, recreational facilities);
- avoid sun exposure (stay in the shade, wear SPF30+ sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, UVA & UVB protective sunglasses, and loose-fitting long shirts and pants);
- take cool showers or baths;
- block the sun out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day;
- reschedule strenuous outdoor activities or plan them for cooler times of the day; and
- never leave people or pets in a parked vehicle or direct sunlight.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health encourages people to visit neighbours, friends, and older family members frequently, especially those at higher risk, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.
For additional heat information visit Extreme Heat at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.
For information on the status of the heat warning visit Alert Status at www.weather.gc.ca.
John Cannan, Senior Public Health Inspector
613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803 ext. 275
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 36 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH's mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit http://www.hpepublichealth.ca/. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.