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Doctor Bonnie Henry Chips in Some Tips to Beat the Heat

Environment Canada has issued another heat warning which could last until Sunday. Doctor Bonnie Henry had some suggestions on how to stay safe through the heat.

“It’s not anticipated to reach that we recorded during the extreme heat event we had late in June, early in July, but we still need to prepare for this and to remind people the importance of taking care of themselves and looking out for others during these heat events,” Henry says. “We know that these anticipated temperatures that we’re expecting to see can cause negative health outcomes.”

She says people who are not acclimatized to this type of temperature are more susceptible, particularly when it doesn’t cool off as much at night. And that conducting regular checks on older adults, those with chronic health conditions and people who are living alone – particularly seniors at high risk of heat related illness – will be an important step to keep everyone safe.

Some preventative tips Doctor Henry gave include:

  • Stay hydrated, preferably with water.
  • Keep pets and children cool, never leave them in cars.
  • Dressing for the weather is important. 
  • Opening the windows when it’s cooler outside and closing shades and blinds during the day to make sure that the sun doesn’t come directly into your home. 
  • Using an air conditioner, if you have one.
  • Preparing meals that don’t require you to turn on the oven. 
  • Avoiding tiring work or exercise in the heat, particularly in the middle of the day when the heat builds up. 
  • Seeking care if you need it, if people have concerns about their health.

She says, “If you identify signs of illness, you can assist in moving people to a cooler indoor or shaded space and municipalities across the [province] will have cooling spaces open and available for people. You can also access air conditioned spaces like malls, community centres and libraries. “

Accessing air conditioning was paramount in the address, but recognized that at high temperatures fans alone can actually be dehydrating and they may not be effective. To mitigate, she suggested doing things like applying a cool water mist or wet towels prior to sitting in front of a fan. Also using splash pools and water parks or taking a cool bath or shower.

“Just want to remind people, there’s resources on the health authority websites, we have alerts and bulletins going out and to take care of each other as we get through yet another challenging period in these coming days,” Henry says.

If urgent medical support is needed call 911 without delay. You can also call 811 to get more information on things you can do to support yourself or others during the heat. 

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