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July 8, 2002
The Medical Officer of Health is issuing a heat alert for today, Monday July 8, 2002.
  
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 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).

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.

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, such as elderly and isolated seniors and the homeless, 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
Dr. Bonnie Henry
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7267

Canadian Red Cross
Heat information line
416-480-2615

 

 

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