Heat-related illnesses are preventable.
You can prevent a heat illness by following these tips to stay cool:
- Monitor local weather forecasts and warnings regularly – Stay up to date by checking our website or by following the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on Facebook or Twitter
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing
- Take a cool bath or shower
- Limit outdoor activities to the coolest part of the day
- Protect your skin with broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses with UV-protective lenses
- Do not leave children, adults or pets in parked cars
- Arrange for regular visits by family members, neighbours or friends during very hot days in case you need assistance
- Learn about ways to keep your home cool during the summer (e.g., keep window shades or drapes drawn and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home)
- If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works properly before the hot weather starts. Otherwise, find an air-conditioned spot close by, where you can cool off for a few hours during very hot days (e.g., local pool, library, recreational centre, mall). Call 211 for available options
For young children and babies:
- Keep young children, especially babies, out of very hot weather as much as possible. They are not able to tolerate the heat as well as adults and are more likely to suffer from heat illness.
- Encourage young children to drink water more often during warmer weather. They may not realize when they are becoming dehydrated.
For babies less than six months old:
- Babies may need to breastfeed more often in warmer weather, but do not need extra water. Breastfeeding mothers should drink extra water in warmer weather to make enough breastmilk. If you are concerned that you are not making enough breastmilk to keep your baby hydrated, contact your primary healthcare provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) for advice.
- Babies who are fed formula may benefit from small amounts of water during very hot weather. This water should be boiled for two minutes and cooled before offering.
For more information about keeping young children safe in very hot weather, call the Healthy Families Hotline 519-258-2146 ext. 1350.