June 20, 2012 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Courtesy of the Middlesex-London Health Unit

With a local forecast calling for three days of sweltering heat and the potential for high humidity, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has issued the region’s second Extreme Heat Alert of the year.

The weather system that is expected to arrive in the London and Middlesex area overnight is expected to bring temperatures in the low 30s Celcius, however combined with high humidity, humidex values will make it feel like the low 40's. The Extreme Heat Alert will come into effect
tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19th.

Humidex values greater than 40 are one of the Health Unit’s criteria for issuing a Heat Alert. It is expected the Heat Alert will remain in effect through Thursday, June 21st, as the daytime high for Friday is expected to be in the mid-20s.

“Extreme Heat Alerts are our way to remind residents to make wise choices about how they dress and spend time outdoors when summer temperatures can have negative impacts on their health,”says Iqbal Kalsi, Manager of Environmental Health at the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

“Remember to wear light clothing, and if you’re spending time outside, wear a wide brimmed hat and use sunblock. Air quality tends to decline as temperatures rise, so it’s also a good idea to limit physical activity and drink plenty of clear fluids to stay hydrated.”

Extreme Heat Alerts are issued by the Health Unit because to the health risks associated with high temperatures and humidity. Residents who find they are experiencing symptoms associated with extreme temperature conditions should seek medical attention immediately, either by calling
911 or by going to the nearest Emergency Department.

Follow 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
  •  Avoid going out in the blazing sun or heat when possible. If you must go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. Plan any necessary outdoor activities in early morning or evening
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat outdoors
  • Keep window shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home
  • Keep electric lights off or turned down low
  • 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 regarding the side effects of your medications
  • • Reduce the use of personal vehicles, stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints
  • and glues, pesticides and gas-powered small engines.
Seek help if you experience any of the following symptoms of heat illness:
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness or fainting
  • More tiredness than usual
  • Headache
  • Confusion

Friends and relatives can help someone with heat illness by doing the following:

  • Call for help
  • Move the person to a cooler location
  • Remove excess clothing from the person
  • Cool the person with lukewarm water, by sponging or bathing
  •  Give the person sips of cool water if they are not nauseated or vomiting. Do not give ice cold water.

For complete information on heat-related illness, or the effects of smog and humidity please contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit at 519-663-5317 or visit www.healthunit.com

For a listing of City of London splash pads and their hours visit the city's web site at www.london.ca

For the addresses of local libraries, please call 519-661-4600.

Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for free advice from a Health Professional, 24/7.

For pet care information contact the London Animal Care Centre 519-685-1330 or visit www.accpets.ca

Click here to visit the MLHU website.