Take the heat seriously

Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living has issued an extended heat advisory.

By now, Thursday, Aug. 9, we are used to the heat – it has been a hot summer.

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However, Friday is going to be challenging and on Saturday, Westman is facing serious heat, according to Environment Canada.

It's heat we haven't seen, with Saturday’s (Aug. 11) forecast was originally 37 degrees and sunny. While that has been downgraded as of today (Friday Aug.10) and Saturday is expected to top at 35 degrees in Melita, it is actually 36 degrees in Melita, according to the same Environment Canada website.

Compare that to last month where highs recorded at Elkhorn and Melita weather stations were 32.5 degrees C. Some parts of Manitoba such as Morden, Portage and Cypress River all recorded highs nearing 34 degrees.

A hot day can make you sick
Everyone is at risk from the effects of heat, but especially if you are a senior, have a chronic illness or take certain medications, you are more at risk according to the heat advisory.

Infants and young children need to be monitored and protected from the sun.

Are you working in the heat?

Outdoor activity can also cause overheating.

Be vigilant
Check on neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are ill or living alone, to make sure they are cool and drinking water. With a personal visit it is easier to identify signs of heat illness that could be missed over the phone.
Never leave kids or pets alone in a parked vehicle or confined in direct sunlight. 
Symptoms of overheating
•    headache;
•    red, hot and dry skin;
•    dizziness;
•    confusion;
•    nausea;
•    rapid weak pulse; and
•    a complete or partial loss of consciousness.

A body temperature above 40 C (105 F) can cause permanent effects or death.

What to do
Emergency medical care may be needed. If someone has a high body temperature, is unconscious or is confused, call for help. Move the person to a cool place, apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing and fan the person.
•    drink water before feeling thirsty;
•    wear loose fitting clothes and a wide brimmed hat outdoors;
•    limit alcohol consumption;
•    reschedule outdoor activities;
•    find an air conditioned building (mall, library, place of worship)
•    take a cool shower
•    close the blinds

Regularly updated weather forecasts are available from Environment and Climate Change Canada at http://weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html.
For more information on heat and health, call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free). 


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