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Heat warning prompts tips from health unit

The heat warning issued for Tuesday through Thursday by Environment Canada means people should be taking care not to overdo it, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

When temperatures stay at or above 31 C for more than a day and nighttime temperatures stay above 20 C or the humidity index exceeds 40 C, over-exertion will increase the risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration or heat stroke.

Infants and young children, the frail elderly and people with chronic lung conditions or who are taking certain prescription drugs are more vulnerable to harm from overheating. Check in with these people to make sure they're staying safe.

  • During the heat, everyone should be taking care to avoid overheating, the health unit advises, offering the following tips:
  • Drink plenty of fluids (non-caffeinated). Don't wait until you feel thirsty -- that's a sign your body is already becoming dehydrated.
  • Stay cool indoors and, if possible, seek out an air-conditioned place.
  •  If you must be outside, stay in the shade and apply sunscreen and wear a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses and lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Electric fans provide comfort by increasing evaporation. However, when the conditions are extreme, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Keep physical activity to a minimum.
  • Draw blinds/curtains to prevent radiant heat from entering homes.

For more information about extreme heat, visit simcoemuskokahealth.org or call Health Connection at 705-721-7520. 



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