Heat warning issued for Durham Region

Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a heat warning for Durham Region for conditions expected to begin Friday (July 19).

A heat warning occurs when the forecast conditions include a daytime high of at least 31° C and overnight temperatures of 20° C or greater or with Humidex values of at least 40 for two or more days.

“The health department is advising area residents to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness during the upcoming heat warning,” reads a media release.

“It is crucial to remember to never leave infants and young children inside a parked vehicle. This is especially important as when the outside air temperature is 23° C (73° F), the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous and reach more than 50° C (122° F),” the media release reads.

“Anyone seeing a child left unattended in a hot vehicle at anytime should call 911 immediately.”

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to stay alert for symptoms of heat illness in children which could include changes in behaviour (sleepiness or temper tantrums); dizziness or fainting; nausea or vomiting; headache; rapid breathing and heartbeat; extreme thirst; and decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.

“If you see children experiencing any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move the child to a cool place and provide liquids, with water being the best option,” the media release reads.

“For women who are breastfeeding, breast milk will provide adequate hydration, but remember to keep yourself hydrated for your baby, which will help you to produce a sufficient amount of milk.”

In adults, the most dangerous heat illness is heat stroke with symptoms that include complete or partial loss of consciousness, or confusion and high body temperature.

“If caring for someone with these symptoms, call 911 immediately,” the media release reads.

“While waiting for help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool place, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing, while fanning the person as much as possible.”

Heat illnesses are preventable. Everyone is encouraged to take the following precautions to beat the heat and stay cool:

– Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty;

– Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric;

– Take cool showers or baths until you feel refreshed.

– Take a break from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place.

– Block out the sun by opening awnings and closing curtains or blinds during the day.

– Avoid sun exposure. Shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or using an umbrella.

– Reschedule or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.

– Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

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