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May 31, 2011
Heat Alert declared for Toronto
  
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued a Heat Alert for Toronto today. This is the first Heat Alert for 2011 and it will be in effect until further notice.

During a Heat Alert, the public is encouraged to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids. Other groups at risk include people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are marginally housed or homeless.

The public is advised to “Beat the Heat” by taking these precautions:
• Drink lots of water or natural fruit juices - do not wait to feel thirsty.
• Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries or community centres located in each neighbourhood.
• Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
• Stay out of the sun.
• Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car.

Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for residents to escape the heat. Community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check those clients at increased risk of heat-related illness during alerts.

When an alert is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries may call the Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions. People with heart and lung conditions, seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at http://www.airhealth.ca.

For more information on how to Beat the Heat visit http://www.toronto.ca/health.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Rishma Govani
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7974
rgovani@toronto.ca

Tanya Elliott
Canadian Red Cross
905-890-1000 ext. 202

 

 

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