Many places in Canada have a high number of extreme heat events, often called “heat waves.” Extreme heat can put your health at risk, causing illnesses like heat stroke and even death. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and your family.
What are extreme heat events?
Extreme heat events involve high temperatures and sometimes high humidity. Although the level of temperature extremes may vary between regions, unusually high heat can have negative impacts on your health.
Weather conditions play a big role in how your body regulates its temperature. For example, if it’s windy, sweat evaporates faster, which helps to cool you. But high humidity slows down this process, contributing to increased body temperature.
Heat illnesses can affect you quickly, and can lead to long-term health problems and even death. They are mainly caused by being over-exposed to extreme heat especially if you are doing too much for your age and physical condition. Heat illnesses include:
- heat edema (swelling of hands, feet, and ankles)
- heat rash
- heat cramps (muscle cramps)
- heat fainting
- heat exhaustion
- heat stroke
While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for:
- older adults
- infants and young children
- people with chronic illnesses (like breathing problems, mental illness, and heart problems)
- people who work in the heat
- people who exercise in the heat
- homeless people
- low-income earners
If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat. Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays as well. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions about your medication.
The Environmental Health Program Mandate is to promote and protect the health of all Canadians by identifying, assessing, managing, and communicating health risks posed by environmental factors in living, working, and recreational settings
For more Tips on how to keep your family safe and cool this summer, CHECK OUT Health Canada’s website or be sure to stop by their booth to speak with their staff about how to keep your family safe and ready for the summer!
Save the Dates: May 27-28th, 10 am – 4 pm. Visit Health Canada at the Family Connects Expo, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Truro, NS.
Click here to learn more about Health Canada and other exhibitors at the Family Connects Expo.
Tickets are available online or at the door, $5 pp or $15 for family of 4-6. Cash and all major credit cards accepted.