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May 29, 2006
First Heat Alert in effect today
The Medical Officer of Health is issuing the first Heat Alert of the season today, Monday, May 29.

During a Heat Alert the public is encouraged to call or visit friends and neighbours who are at risk of suffering health consequences because of hot weather. People at greatest risk include the elderly, infants and young children, the chronically ill, and those taking medications (e.g., for mental illness). High heat this early in the summer can have a more serious affect on those who are vulnerable, as the body has not yet adjusted to hot weather.

The public is advised to "Beat the Heat" by taking these precautions:
  • Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
  • Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
  • Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls, libraries, and community centres
  • Never leave children and pets unattended in a car.

Those in need of assistance during a Heat Alert may call the Red Cross Heat Information Line at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Both the Red Cross and Emergency Medical Services will respond to requests to check on those who may be at risk.

Toronto Public Health will launch a new program in early June encouraging landlords and property managers of rooming houses and other residences without air conditioning to implement a Hot Weather Protection Plan to protect vulnerable people. The plan includes setting up a cool room during Heat Alerts and Extreme Heat Alerts, ensuring windows in rooms can be opened, and checking on vulnerable people.

During a Heat Alert, more than 1,100 community partners are on alert to monitor and assist vulnerable populations such as elderly and homeless people and to distribute bottled water to these populations.

The first Heat Alert of 2005 was called on June 6. Last year, either a Heat Alert or an Extreme Heat Alert was in effect for a total of 26 days.

Media contact:

Toronto Public Health



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