The chief provincial public health officer is reminding Manitobans to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness as hot and humid conditions continue in Manitoba. Higher temperatures and humidity levels are forecast for the rest of the week, continuing through the weekend.
Areas in southern Manitoba will be most affected, but the hot and humid conditions will extend into central areas as well. Parts of the north may also experience warmer than normal temperatures and high humidity over the next few days. Manitobans are encouraged to check their local Environment Canada forecast for details.
Everyone is at risk for the effects of heat, though health risks are greatest for:
• older adults;
• infants and young children;
• people with chronic illnesses, such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions, or mental illnesses;
• people who work or exercise in the heat; and
• people living alone.
Heat illnesses are preventable. The health effects of heat can be reduced by:
• drinking plenty of liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty;
• wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen;
• planning outdoor activities during cooler times of the day;
• finding a cool place to go for a break from the heat;
• taking a cool bath or shower;
• taking steps to ensure children or pets are never left alone in closed vehicles or direct sunlight; and
• limiting alcohol consumption.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness:
• Visit neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are ill, to make sure they are cool and drinking water.
• If dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, headache, fast breathing occur during high temperatures, immediately move to a cool place and drink water.
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:
• the Manitoba government: www.manitoba.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/heat.html;
• Health Canada: www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/healthy-living-vie-saine/environment-environnement/sun-soleil/heat-extreme-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 www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html.