February 26,

Extreme Weather – Heat

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Extreme Weather - Heat

Are Your Patients Ready for Extreme Heat This Summer?

With summer quickly approaching and warmer temperatures imminent, Peterborough Public Health has activated its Heat Alert and Response System (HARS) to advise residents of the best way to protect their health when temperatures soar.

The Public Health has adopted a series of extreme heat thresholds designed to advise the public, health professionals, and community service providers of appropriate measures they can take to reduce the health effects of hot, humid and smoggy weather.  Information about these three advisory levels is available on the Extreme Weather – Heat webpage on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca

Extreme heat events are a potentially significant health risk and can have a severe impact on the health of vulnerable populations including infants, the elderly, shut-ins, persons with chronic diseases, the morbidly obese and the marginally housed.  Heat related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable.

Community care plays a pivotal role in the prevention of heat illness.  Health care providers have regular contact with people of all ages and health status and need to be engaged to help prevent heat illness and mortality by raising awareness of heat-health risks and effective prevention options.  It is well established that the use of certain medications leads to an increased risk of a patient experiencing heat-related illness.

Health Canada has developed Extreme Heat Events Guidelines: Technical Guide for Health Care Workers .  The Guidelines are comprised of a Technical Guide of heat-health information and targeted Fact Sheets (for Acute Care, Community Care, and Facilities Preparation) as well as a brief User Guide which provides policy guidance for health organizations.

The Public Health encourages all stakeholders to advise vulnerable clients of the health unit’s heat advisory system and precautions they can take to prevent and manage heat related illness.

Air conditioned public facilities are available to local residents seeking a place to cool off, such as shopping malls, arenas, libraries and community centres.  Residents are advised to phone in advance to determine hours of operation.

For further information, please contact:

 

Shawn Telford
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 287

Last modified on Jun 27, 2014