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Hot Weather Safety Guidelines: General Public

The Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:

During an Extreme Heat Alert

  • Keep cool
  • Stay hydrated
  • Check on your neighbour/call or visit

Follow Heat Alert Guidelines AND

    • VISIT OR CALL your neighbours, especially the elderly, persons with disabilities, and individuals with chronic illnesses or on medications.
    • During extreme temperature conditions, stay in a cool place and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall, library, recreational facilities or heat-relief shelters.
    • Do not do strenuous activity outdoors.
       

During a Heat Alert

  • Keep cool
  • Stay hydrated
  • Check on your neighbour

Follow the General Guidelines AND

  • Go outdoors only in the coolest part of the day, and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall, library, recreational facilities or other cool location. Limit exercise outdoors.
  • Especially limit time outdoors: 
      ◦ During the hottest part of the day, and
      ◦ When UV radiation is most intense, between 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Drink lots of liquids. Plain water is the liquid of choice, diluted fruit juice is okay. Drink less caffeinated and alcoholic beverages on hot days.
  • Check regularly on children, elderly, persons with disabilities and individuals with chronic illnesses; be sure they are well hydrated (plain water is the liquid of choice). Drink less caffeinated and alcoholic beverages on hot days.
     

General Recommendations

  1. Stay cool and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall, library, recreational facilities or heat-relief shelters.
  2. Electric fans should be used with caution. Use only if they bring in cool air from outside. Do not use if they only circulate hot air. Instead take cool showers or baths.
  3. When outdoors, stay in the shade whenever possible (natural or artificial structures).
  4. When in the sun, cover up. Wear a wide brimmed hat, UV protective sunglasses, and loose-fitting long shirts and pants.
  5. Stay well hydrated. Plain water is the liquid of choice, diluted fruit juice is okay. Drink less caffeinated and alcoholic beverages on hot days.
  6. Check regularly on children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities or with chronic illnesses; be sure they are well hydrated.
  7. Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.
  8. Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption.
  9. When using DEET insect repellent, apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.
  10. Sunscreens/insect repellents are not recommended for infants under six months of age. Keep babies under one year of age out of direct sunlight.
  11. NEVER leave anyone (including pets) in a closed, parked vehicle.

Adapted with permission from Peel Public Health.