Hot and humid conditions are continuing in Manitoba. And, Communities in the south part of the province, including Winnipeg and surrounding areas, are expected to reach high humidex values.
The chief provincial public health officer is reminding Manitobans to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness.
The effects of heat can be reduced by:
drinking plenty of liquids, preferably water, before feeling thirsty;
limiting physical activities;
wearing a wide-brimmed hat or using an umbrella;
wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing;
going to a cool place such as a mall, restaurant or movie theatre for a break from the heat if there is no air conditioning at home;
taking a cool bath or shower; and
limiting alcohol consumption.
Remember to check on family members, neighbours and friends when it gets hot, especially older adults and people with chronic conditions. And never leave people or pets alone in closed, parked vehicles, even for a few minutes and avoid leaving them in direct sunlight.
It's important to wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn when you are outdoors. Prolonged exposure to heat can lead to a variety of symptoms including headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, fainting, confusion, rapid breathing and dehydration
Exposure to heat for too long a period can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, worsening of other conditions or, rarely, death.
Remember the five key points on preventing heat-related illness:
plan activities carefully,
hydrate with water,
seek cool places,
check on others, and
know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
More information on heat and health is available from Health Links?Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 18883159257 (toll-free) or:
the Manitoba government: www.manitoba.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/heat.html;
Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/environ/heat-chaleur-eng.php;
the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority: www.wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/news/2010/100702.php; or
www.safemanitoba.com for workplace concerns.