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June 18, 2012 – When The Medical Officer of Health for the City of Hamilton calls a Heat Advisory please not the following.

In the event that the humidex reading is expected to be 40 or greater for more than one day, the MOH will issue a Heat Warning.

The combination of temperature and humidity can impair the cooling effect of sweating, and increase the risk of heat-related illness. People who are elderly, or have chronic illnesses, mobility problems, or are taking certain medications, along with infants, pre-school children, and those exercising or working vigorously outdoors are at greatest risk.

Risk of heat-related illness can be reduced by following these recommendations:

  1. Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages on hot days.

  2. Go to an air-conditioned place. Visit a cool place such as a mall, public recreation centres, public libraries, and other City run air-conditioned facilities, etc.

  3. Dress to protect from the heat. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing. Wear a hat or take an umbrella to keep your head cool and don’t forget sunscreen.

  4. Take it easy. Limit physical activities (walking, running, gardening, etc.) during the day. Protect yourself with insect repellent. Check labels to apply.

  5. Cool off. Take a cool bath or shower.

  6. Keep your living space cool. Close your blinds or curtains. Open windows to let air circulate when using a fan.

  7. Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles. Temperatures in a car can become life threatening within minutes.

  8. Check on your neighbours and family.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin; weak pulse, fainting and vomiting. If experiencing symptoms, seek help right away – call 911 if needed.

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