Oxford Public Health issues heat warning

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Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services is issuing its first heat warning for 2014 following a humidex advisory from Environment Canada.

Environment Canada is forecasting humidex values near 40 for Tuesday afternoon (August 26) with temperatures returning to near seasonal values Tuesday night for the remainder of the week.

Public Health reminds people to take extra precautions when caring for children and others at risk of complication from heat-related illness, including seniors, those with chronic health conditions, and people who work outdoors. Adults caring for children should watch for the usual signs of physical distress, such as rapid breathing, weakness, and headache, as well as symptoms like vomiting, sleepiness, or changes in behaviour, for instance, temper tantrums.

To protect your health in the heat, drink lots of water and avoid going outside. If you are outdoors, wear a hat or stay in the shade and avoid intense activity. Never leave a child or pet in a car, and remember to check on family, friends and neighbours who are at risk of health complications from heat-related illness. Some prescription or over-the-counter drugs can increase sensitivity to sun and heat.

Anyone who experiences physical distress because of extreme temperatures should seek medical attention immediately either by calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department.

Oxford County Public Health issues a heat warning when the humidex is forecast to rise to 40° Celsius or higher (this index means the humidity and temperature combined give the sensation of a temperature of 40° Celsius); or if the humidex is forecast to rise to 36° Celsius or higher, combined with an Environment Canada smog alert; or when there is a forecast of high temperatures of 35° Celsius or above without a humidex reading for three consecutive days.

For more information visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health.

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