Toronto Public Health Prepares for ‘Heat Season’

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Summer Heat Advisory

Summer Heat AdvisoryTORONTO – WEATHER – Western Canada is under a number of Heat Advisories from Environment Canada. For everyone who has ever travelled to Toronto, the heat, along with the humidity in Canada’s largest city can make it feel like you are are pushing a wall of heat ahead of you when you walk. While Toronto is not currently under a heat advisory, Toronto Public Health is getting ready for the heat season.

The tips while dedicated to Toronto can apply to any major city.

Toronto Public Health shares tips on how to beat the heat

Now that the weather is warming up, Toronto Public Health is sharing tips to keep cool and enjoy the outdoors safely during hot summer weather.
“I encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy the many activities, parks and events in our great city now that the warmer weather is upon us while following some simple tips to stay healthy,” said Dr Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “There are simple measures that we can all follow to keep cool when the temperature gets hot.”
Extreme heat is associated with preventable heat-related illnesses that range from heat stress to heat stroke and death. Heat can also worsen pre-existing conditions such as chronic cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. Vulnerable groups most affected by extreme heat include infants and young children, socially isolated seniors, people who are experiencing homelessness, people with underlying medical conditions or chronic illnesses, individuals with limited mobility or certain mental health illnesses, and people living in apartment buildings without air conditioning.
The Medical Officer of Health monitors the weather in Toronto from May 15 until September 30 for heat and will issue alerts to notify residents of weather conditions that could have a potentially negative effect on their health. Based on information from Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Medical Officer of Health will issue heat warnings when a daytime high temperature is forecast to be greater than or equal to 31 C together with an overnight low temperature greater than or equal to 20 C for two consecutive days; and/or the humidex is forecast to be greater than 40 C for two consecutive days. The Medical Officer of Health will issue an Extended Heat Warning if conditions are forecast to continue for three or more days.
During a Heat Warning, members of the public are encouraged to visit family, friends and neighbours, especially members of vulnerable groups who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids.
Tips to prevent heat-related health impacts and reduce the likelihood of developing heat-related illness include:
• Drink lots of water even before you feel thirsty.
• Visit air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, local libraries and community centres.
• Take cool showers or baths or use cool, wet towels to cool down.
• Wear loose, light-coloured, breathable clothing and, when outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat.
• Avoid the sun and stay in the shade or use an umbrella.
• Plan or reschedule outdoor activities to take place during cooler parts of the day.
• Do not leave elderly people, children or pets unattended in a car.
In addition to swimming pools, beaches and air-conditioned shopping malls, there are many other places where people can go to escape the heat, including the City’s cooling centres. These locations are air-conditioned places for people to rest indoors and receive a cool drink and light snack. Staff who are trained to assist residents affected by the extreme heat are on hand at the seven locations. More information about the City’s cooling centres is available at http://www.toronto.ca/health/keepcool.

 

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