Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is reminding Ontarians to take special care to prevent heat-related illness during the current heat wave in the province.
With extreme heat expected to last most of this week, Dr. King is warning that anyone can suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate for the extreme temperatures and properly cool. Those who are especially at risk include infants under one year of age, seniors 65 years and older, and people with chronic medical conditions.
There are a number of things that people can do to prevent heat-related illness, including:
- Drinking plenty of water or natural fruit juices
- Wearing light, loose fitting clothes
- Eating light, cool foods, and not using the oven or other hot appliances
- Staying in air conditioned rooms – either at home, a friend’s place or public spaces such as malls, libraries, community or specially designated facilities
- Regularly check up on friends, family and/or neighbours who may be at high risk during a heat wave.
"Heat-related illness is preventable. Anyone can suffer from the heat, so it’s important to know what actions you can take to prevent illness."
– Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
- Symptoms of heat stroke include headache, dizziness, confusion or other altered mental state, and fainting. Skin may become hot and dry, or there may be sweating due to high body temperature. This is a medical emergency that can prove fatal if not treated
- Exposure to excessive heat can also cause cramps (usually in the legs or abdomen) and exhaustion that includes heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fainting.