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July 3, 2002
Heat Alert Extended
  
Toronto Public Health is extending the City of Toronto's current Heat Alert
through Wednesday July 3, 2002. The Heat Alert was called on Monday July 1.

Prolonged periods of heat may increase the risk of health effects for those
populations most vulnerable, such as the elderly, infants, young children, the
chronically ill, and those taking certain medications (e.g., for mental
illness).

The public is advised to take extra precautions during this third day of the
alert.

"We are encouraging people to call or visit friends and neighbours who may be
suffering health consequences because of the hot weather," said Dr. Bonnie
Henry, an Associate Medical Officer of Health with Toronto Public Health.

Signs of heat illness include rapid breathing, headache, weakness or fainting,
confusion, and more tiredness than usual.

The most severe health effect of heat is heat stroke. A person suffering from
heat stroke experiences a high body temperature (greater than 40 degrees
Celsius), hot, dry skin, and dizziness or confusion. Anyone who has difficulty
breathing or feels confused or disoriented should seek medical attention
immediately.

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 places that are air conditioned, including shopping malls and libraries
· Never leave children and pets unattended in a car

During a Heat Alert, a Hot Weather Response Plan is activated. It includes the
following:
· Community Information Toronto will contact over 800 community agencies
working with vulnerable populations to advise them of extra precautions to take
during a heat alert.
· Red Cross will operate an information line from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer
heat-related inquires from the public and respond to requests to check on those
at risk.
· Red Cross will co-ordinate delivery of bottled water to agencies who work
with vulnerable populations, and will provide transportation to a cool place
if needed.
· Homeless shelters will allow people to stay inside during the day to keep
cool.

During a heat alert, people can call the Red Cross HEAT INFORMATION LINE at
416-480-2615.


Media Contact
Red Cross HEAT INFORMATION LINE
416-480-2615

 

 

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