Stay cool as temperatures and humidity soar in Midwestern Ontario

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Kzenon

With a heat warning in effect for Wellington and Perth Counties, Huron Perth Public health is advising residents to find ways to avoid heat related illness.

Humidex temperatures reaching 40°C are expected for the next three days. High daytime temperatures near 30°C are expected Wednesday and Thursday. High temperatures and humidity may continue Friday.

Senior Public Health Inspector Dale Lyttle suggests people drink plenty of cool liquids, plan outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day, and wear loose, light, breathable clothing. People can find a cool place to take a break from the heat, or take a cool shower. You can also wear a wide brimmed hat outdoors to block the sun.

You should never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight. To keep the house cool, people can prepare meals that don’t need to be cooked in the oven. And the sun should be blocked out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day.

Lyttle says extreme heat affects everyone. However, the risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising  outdoors.

Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and heat cramps (muscle cramps).

Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, extreme thirst, or decreased urination.

If you experience any of these systems during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused, or has stopped sweating.

While waiting for help move the victim to a cool place, apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing or fan the person. You could check in on neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are chronically ill, to make sure they are cool and hydrated.