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HNHU Issues Extended Heat Warning

HNHU Issues Extended Heat Warning

SIMCOE, July 4, 2020– With hot and humid conditions expected to continue over the weekend, the Medical Officer of Health is issuing an Extended Heat Warning for the residents and visitors Haldimand and Norfolk counties.. The HNHU recommends that persons take steps to prevent heat-related illness.  

All people can experience adverse health effects from extreme heat. However, older residents and children are particularly vulnerable.  As well, individuals with heart problems, breathing difficulties and psychiatric conditions as well as those who may be socially isolated (e.g. low income earners, homeless) are greater risk. Check on friends, family and neighbours frequently during heat events to make sure they are cool and hydrated.

Unfortunately many of the facilities (e.g. libraries, pools, arenas, community centres) made available by Haldimand and Norfolk counties to assist with managing extreme heat are currently closed due to COVID-19.  

However, people can still take the precautions listed below to protect themselves and their loved ones during extreme heat events.

Stay indoors in an air conditioned environment
Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.
Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place.
Block sun out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.
If you must be outdoors, avoid sun exposure by staying in the shade; wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or use an umbrella.
Plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day (the early morning or in the evening).
Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

Staying outdoors during extreme heat events can lead to a heat stroke. A person experiencing heat stroke will have a high body temperature and appear confused, unconsciousness or have stopped sweating. Severe cases can lead to organ failure and death. If you suspect someone is experiencing a heat stroke call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, move the individual to a cool place, apply cold water to large areas of their skin and fan the person as much as possible.

The HNHU also recommends calling neighbours, friends and family members, especially the elderly and those who are chronically ill, during heat events to check on them and make sure they are keeping cool and hydrated.

For more information, please call the health unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.