Health unit issues heat warning

Heat wave. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Kzenon

With daily high temperatures expected to hit 30 C for the next several days, the Middlesex London Health Unit has issued an extended heat warning.

The warning will remain in effect for at least a week unless there is a change in the forecast.

“Given the cumulative effect of prolonged high temperatures, humidity and intense sunshine, it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you will be spending time outdoors on Canada Day, and over the next few days,” said Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector with the Middlesex London Health Unit. “Remember to cover exposed skin, wear a hat, drink plenty of water, ensure that you keep two metres apart and limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.”

Anyone who is going to be spending time outdoors is advised to take the following precautions 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.
• Never leave a child or pet in a parked car or sleeping outside in direct sunlight.
• Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee, tea and cola.
• When possible, avoid spending too much time outdoors. If you must be outside, seek shade as much as possible. Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening.
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
• Keep shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home.
• Avoid turning on electric lights in your home.
• 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.
• 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.
• Reduce the use of personal vehicles and stop unnecessary idling; avoid using oil-based paints and glues, pesticides and gas-powered small engines.
• Seek medical attention if you experience extreme symptoms, or you believe others may be, as soon as possible.

According to The Weather Network, the daily high temperature in London will not be below 30 C until Sunday, July 12.