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Watch out for extreme summer heat

"Extreme heat" has been defined by the public health authorities as heat events that are most likely to have an impact on vulnerable people’s health. The criteria for extreme heat vary from region to region across Canada.

The effects of heat waves

The direct effects of severe heat are cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. These effects may occur in people who are already sick and for those who practice vigorous exercise despite extreme heat. In case of heat cramps and exhaustion, one must find a cool place to rest, and drink water or a sports drink. If symptoms worsen or last for more than one hour, urgent medical attention is required.

Who's really at risk?

The entire population must take precautionary measures to prevent the adverse health effects of extreme heat. Increased alertness and care must be exercised with young children, older people, people with chronic disease, mental health problems, or people under medication.

Precautions to take

Certain precautions must be taken by the general population to prevent the negative effects of extreme heat :

  • Drink lots of water
  • Wear a hat and light-coloured clothing
  • Stay in the shade
  • Cool off at the pool
  • Take a shower or a warm bath
  • Seek fresh or air-conditioned places

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