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Environment Canada issues heat alert for City of Kawartha Lakes

Environment Canada has issued a heat alert for the City of Kawartha Lakes due to “extreme hot temperatures” expected today and tomorrow.

While Northumberland County and Haliburton County are not covered by this heat warning, officials say people in all parts of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit region should take care.

Daytime high temperatures reaching near 31 degrees Celsius with humidex values in the upper thirties are expected today and Wednesday. Tonight’s overnight low near 20 degrees Celsius will provide little relief from the heat.

The organization says heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke can be very dangerous, especially for infants, older adults, and people with chronic diseases. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, headache, fainting, paleness, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea.

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“If people experience any heat-related illness or symptoms, they should seek medical attention,” says Bernie Mayer, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. “During extremely hot days like the ones we are currently experiencing, it’s important not to overdo things and instead drink plenty of water and seek out cool places.” To see if there is a cooling centre in your community, contact your local municipality.

During any heat wave, the health unit advises people to:

• Avoid going out in the sun or heat when possible, including outdoor sports and physical activity.

• Stay cool, and if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, seek a cool public location such as a municipal cooling center to cool down while following COVID-19 prevention rules.

• When outdoors, stay in the shade. If you plan to go outside do so early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

• Wear loose-fitting, light clothing and a wide brimmed hat.

• Drink lots of water, even if you don’t feel very thirsty. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, and pop.

• Check in regularly with vulnerable family, friends, neighbours, and others who could be affected by the heat. These include children, older adults, and persons with chronic illnesses. Make sure they are OK and are well-hydrated.

• Eat light, cool foods, and avoid heavy meals that involve using the oven or other hot appliances.

• Keep shades, drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows open slightly. If you do not have air conditioning, use fans. Keep lights off or turned low.

• Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels.

• Never leave a child or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.

The HKPR District Health Unit encourages everyone to monitor the Air Quality Health Index on the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Park’s website as extreme heat is often associated with poor air quality.

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