KAWARTHA LAKES-The arrival of extremely hot, humid weather to the area is prompting a reminder from the local Health Unit for people to take precautions to beat the heat.
Environment Canada has issued a heat alert for Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes due to extreme hot temperatures over the next few days. While Haliburton County is not covered by this heat warning, people in all parts of the Health Unit region should take care according to the health unit.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit says heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can be very dangerous, especially for infants, older adults, and people with chronic diseases. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, headache, fainting, paleness, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea.
“If people experience any heat-related illness or symptoms, they should seek medical attention,” says Bernie Mayer, Manager of Health Protection with the HKPR District Health Unit. “During extremely hot days like the ones we are currently experiencing, it’s important not to overdo things and instead drink plenty of water and seek out cool places.”
During any heatwave, the Health Unit advises people to:
- Avoid going out in the sun or heat when possible.
- Stay cool, and if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, seek a cool public location such as a municipal cooling centre to cool down while following COVID-19 prevention rules. To see if there is a cooling centre in your community, contact your local municipality.
- When outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. If you plan to go outside during a very hot day, do so early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.
- Avoid outdoor sports and physical activity.
- Wear loose-fitting, light clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Drink lots of water, even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Avoid alcohol, coffee/tea and pop.
- Check-in regularly with vulnerable family, friends, neighbours and others who could be affected by the heat. These include children, older adults, and persons with chronic illnesses. Make sure they are OK and are well-hydrated.
- Eat light, cool foods, and avoid heavy meals that involve using the oven or other hot appliances.
- Keep shades, drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows open slightly. If you do not have air conditioning, use fans.
- Keep lights off or turned low.
- Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels.
- Never leave a child or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.