Heat Alert for Manitoba August 28, 2012

Heat Alert for Manitoba August 28, 2012

A heat alert has been declared on August 28, 2012, for southern Manitoba, Canada, for the next two days.

The Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer advises Manitobans to take the following precautions to prevent heat-related illness:

  • 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
  • limiting alcohol consumption

During a Heat Alert, there is a greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness for a number of groups, including:

  •  isolated adults and seniors
  • people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses
  • infants and young children
  • people on certain medications
  • those who are homeless

Please remember

  • to check on family members, neighbours and friends when it gets hot, especially
    • older adults
    • and people with chronic conditions
  • Do not leave people or pets in your care alone in closed, parked vehicles or in direct sunlight.

Often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions:

  • People with heart and lung conditions as well as seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at http://www.airhealth.ca.

Did you know that heat stress can lead to worker illness, disability and even death?

  • Heat stress as an occupational hazard happens when working where it is hot puts stress on the body’s cooling system.
  • When heat is combined with other stresses such as hard physical work, fluid loss, fatigue or some medical conditions, it could lead to serious consequences for the worker
  • Employers must take steps to protect their employees from the effects of this heat stress hazard such as:
    • reducing the temperature and humidity through air cooling
    • providing air-conditioned rest areas
    • increasing the frequency and length of rest breaks
    • scheduling strenuous jobs for cooler times of the day and
    • providing cool drinking water near worker and remind them to drink a cup of water about every 20 minutes
    • assigning additional workers or slow down the pace of work
    • training workers to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress
    • start a “buddy system” since people are not likely to notice their own symptoms

Symptoms of heat stress can include:

  • excessive sweating
  • headache
  • rashes
  • cramping
  • dizziness
  • fainting

Please note the following reasons for heat stress to be a life-threatening situation:

  • Workers most at risk for heat stress include those working:
    • in hot environments – such as smelters, furnaces, bakeries
    • outside in the summer
  • Prolonged exposure to heat stress can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
  • The victims of heat stroke are often unable to notice the symptoms
    • their survival may depend on co-workers’ ability to identify symptoms and to seek immediate medical assistance

Often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions:

  • People with heart and lung conditions as well as seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at http://www.airhealth.ca.

Contact Info:

  • For more information on heat and health, call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) or visit:

Weather forecasts are available from Environment Canada at 204-983-2050 or: http://weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html.

Manitoba, Canada

August 28, 2012

HEAT ADVISORY

High temperatures and humidity levels are forecast for the next two days in southern Manitoba, and above-normal temperatures and humidity are forecast for the north.

The Office of 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.  Do not leave people or pets in your care alone in closed, parked vehicles or in direct sunlight.

It’s important to wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn when you are outdoors.  Having a sunburn can make it more difficult for your body to cope with heat.

Exposure to heat for too long a period can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, worsening of other conditions or, rarely, death.  Symptoms of prolonged heat exposure include headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, fainting, confusion, rapid breathing and dehydration.

If you are caring for someone with any of these symptoms, move them to a cool or shaded place immediately, encourage them to drink sips of water or other liquids, sponge then with cool water and fan the person as much as possible.  Emergency medical attention may be required depending on the severity of symptoms.

Health risks related to heat are higher for older adults, young children, people on certain medications and people with chronic conditions.  However, everyone is potentially at risk.  The effects of heat can build up over a few days if the temperature and humidity do not drop.  Plan activities carefully and look for opportunities to get a break from the heat.

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.

For more information on heat and health, call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 18883159257 (toll-free) or visit:

* 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
* for workplace concerns:  www.safemanitoba.com.

Weather forecasts are available from Environment Canada at 204-983-2050 or: http://weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html.

 ————————————–—

You may also want to know:

Leave a Reply