Extreme Heat Event: Health Warning

Renfrew County and District Health Unit
“Optimal Health for All in Renfrew County and District”
For Immediate Release

(Pembroke, Ontario, June 28, 2018) – Extreme Heat Event: Health Warning

Renfrew County and District Health Unit and County of Renfrew Paramedics Service are advising residents of Renfrew County and District take steps to prevent heat-related illness during the upcoming extreme heat event, also known as a “heat wave”. With temperatures expected to rise over the Canada Day long-weekend, Environment Canada is forecasting daytime highs to reach the low to mid-thirties with humidex values into the mid-forties. Overnight low temperatures will only fall to the low twenties, providing little or no relief from the heat. Current indications suggest the heat could persist into the middle of next week.

While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illness, health risks are greatest for older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or psychiatric illnesses, people who work or exercise in the heat, homeless people and low-income earners. Those who take medication or have a health condition should ask their doctor or pharmacist if it increases their health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit and County of Renfrew Paramedics recommend taking the following actions to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling Service thirsty.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Take cool shower or baths until you feel refreshed.
  • Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place such as a shopping mall, local library or community centre.
  • Block the sun out by closing awnings, curtains and blinds during the day.
  • Avoid sun exposure. Shade yourself by using a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella.
  • Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
  • Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
  • Limit or avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Heat illnesses are preventable, but they can lead to long-term health problems or even death. The most dangerous heat illness is heat stroke. If caring for someone with heat stoke symptoms, such as complete or partial loss of consciousness, confusion and high body temperature, call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, cool the person by moving them to a cool place, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing and fanning the person as much as possible.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit and County of Renfrew Paramedics Service urge everyone to stay alert and take precautions. Remember to frequently visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure they are cool and hydrated.

For additional tips on how to stay safe and what to do during an extreme heat-related emergency please visit www.rcdhu.com or follow us on FaceBook and Twitter @RCDHealthUnit