The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) has issued its third extreme temperature alert of the year, just ahead of the Canada Day weekend.
The alert was issued for Friday straight through the long weekend until Tuesday of next week.
Forecasters with Environment Canada say there will be extreme heat for at least 3 consecutive days. Temperatures are expected to reach 30 degrees on average and upwards of 40 degrees factoring in the humidity.
While many people are planning on spending most of their time outside for the long weekend, the MLHU says one of the most important ways to avoid heat related illnesses is staying hydrated.
Randy Walker, the Public Health Inspector for the MLHU, encourages people to be wary of drinking alcohol during extreme heat.
“Where water is consumed to sweat, to generate sweat and facilitate your body’s ability to sweat, alcohol-not so much. Alcohol won’t keep you hydrated.”
Walker says that anyone who is spending an extended amount of time outside should take precautionary measures due to long exposure in the heat and sun.
Situations where people are playing sports outside, swimming or being physically active will generate more heat on top of the extreme heat.
He also insists on keeping an eye out for the elderly and young children as they are the most vulnerable to serious ailments like heat stroke.
“People that are very old or very young have a lower ability to tolerate and resist the negative aspects of heat. Special attention should be paid to those people, especially by others that are in a position to care for them.”
Symptoms of heat illness include discolouration of the face, headaches, and rapid breathing.
“You’ll find people who will demonstrate a little bit of a weakness, and become tired. They may start to slur their speach or get a little bit confused.” says Randy Walker.
The MLHU recommends taking breaks from the heat, avoiding hot drinks and pop, and wearing loose fitting light coloured clothing.
“Look out for your neighbours, friends, family because if you notice symptoms in them, it may be because they’re not noticing it themselves. Encourage them to do the same for you.”