News Releases

Media Bulletin - Chief Medical Officer

July 8, 2016

HEAT ADVISORY



The chief provincial public health officer is reminding Manitobans to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness as higher temperatures and humidity levels are forecasted over the weekend and early next week in Manitoba. 

Communities in central and southern areas of the province are expected to reach high humidex values over the next four days. 

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. 

During a period of prolonged heat, such individuals may have a particularly high risk for heat illness if they are living in an urban area or do not have air conditioning.  Regularly check on neighbours, friends and older family members, especially those who are ill or living alone, to make sure they are cool and drinking water. 

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;
  • limiting alcohol consumption;
  • avoiding sun exposure and consider cancelling or rescheduling outdoor activities;
  • never leaving children or pets inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight;
  • going to a cool place such as a mall, community centre, public library, or place of worship;
  • taking a cool shower or bath; and
  • blocking sun out using awnings, curtains or blinds during the day. 

Watch for symptoms of heat illness:

  • If dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, headache or fast breathing occur during high temperatures, immediately move to a cool place and drink water; and
  • Emergency medical care may be needed depending on the severity of symptoms. 

If emergency medical care is needed for someone who has a high body temperature, or is unconscious or confused, call for help.  While waiting for help, cool the person right away by:

  • moving them to a cool place if you can;
  • applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing; and
  • fanning the person as much as possible. 

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 at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html

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