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revised July 26, 2007

Heat and Humidity

Arrow BulletHot Weather Guidelines - General Public

Peel Health recommends the following steps to be taken to prevent heat related illness:

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.

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.

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.

Heat Illness
Signs and Treatment

Sunburn: redness, pain, swelling of skin, blisters, fever and headaches.
 
Treatment: leave water blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection. If breaking of blister occurs, apply dry sterile dressing. Serious cases should be seen by a physician.
   
Heat Cramps: heavy sweating can cause painful muscle spasms usually in the legs but possible in the abdomen
 
Treatment: apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm; give sips of water, if nausea occurs discontinue sips of water, move person to a cooler place to rest in a comfortable position. Observe the person carefully for changes in condition.
   
Heat Exhaustion: heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting, core temperature usually 38.8 Celsius or higher, but normal temperature is possible.
 
Treatment: get person out of sun, move person to a cooler environment, lay person down and loosen clothing, apply cool wet cloths, give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue sips of water; if vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
   
Heatstroke: severe medical emergency, high body temperature (41 degrees Celsius or higher), hot, dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, possible unconsciousness
 
Treatment: Call 911, if unable to get person to medical help immediately, do the following:
  • Move person to a cooler environment
  • Remove outer clothing
  • Reduce body temperature using lukewarm (not cold) water to bathe/sponge the person
  • Do not give fluids

Hot Weather Guidelines General Public (PDF format, 158KB)

May 2006
Safety Guidelines Risk Factors Symptoms and Prevention
General Public
Child Care Centres
Recreation Centres
Schools
Indoor/Outdoor Workers
Homeles Shelters
Agencies helping Disabled
Advice to Housing Authorities
People at Risk
Indoor/Outdoor Workers
Exercise
Heat, Drugs and Alcohol
Pets and Heat
Symptoms
Prevent Heat Related Illness
Dehydration
Why do we Overheat
Humidex
Sunscreen and Insect Repellents
Food Safety in Summer
Heat Home Page

 

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Revised: July 26, 2007

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