We are in the middle of another heat wave in London, Ontario. Temperatures are expected to push up over the 40C mark with the humidex and stay that way for a few days. That makes for some hot weather and should cause you to put a little more thought into what you do. Children, older adults, people with asthma or other chronic conditions, homeless people, those who exercise outdoors, and those who work outdoors are at higher risk of heat illness and should take proper precautions to prevent them.
Tips to prevent heat illness;
- drink plenty of water
- avoid alcohol and caffeine
- wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothes and a wide-brimmed hat
- reduce time spent outdoors, or schedule it for early morning and evenings when temperatures are lower
- if you must be outdoors seek shade whenever possible
- reduce strenuous exercise
- take occasional cool showers or baths to lower body temperature
- draw shades or blinds on sunny side of your home
- use fans or air conditioning to lower temperature of your home
- avoid using oven & eat lighter meals
- Never leave pets or small children inside parked vehicles (or anyone really—they heat up to unsafe temperatures before you know it!)
Cooling stations are designated around the city for homeless people and/or those without proper access to air conditioning. Visit your local library, community centre, pool, wading pool, splash pad, or maybe hit up your friends and neighbours with pools of their own. If it is your day (even addresses can use outdoor water on even days, odd on odd days), run through the sprinkler. Visit one of our many area beaches. Hang out in the reaches of your cooler basement. Take in a movie at an icy cool movie theatre. Wander an air conditioned mall.
Whatever you do, remember to drink plenty of fluids and keep hydrated!
For those of you (like the Load of Rubbish crew) who work outdoors or at strenuous jobs, make sure to watch out for signs of heat illness and take action immediately if you spot them.
Signs to watch for;
- heat cramps (often in legs or abdomen)
- heat exhaustion
- heavy sweating
- dizziness, weakness, fainting
- nausea and vomiting
- heat stroke
- dizziness, fainting
- confusion, altered mental state
- hot and dry skin or sweating
- high body temperature
If you see signs of heat illness, move the person to a cooler location immediately, remove excess clothing, cool the body with lukewarm water, and give them sips of cool water. Call 911 in cases of extreme distress.
It’s a hot one out there this week friends. Enjoy the summer, beat the heat, and do your best to keep cool!