July 30,

More Heat is On the Way

June 20, 2016 – Peterborough Public Health Issues Third Heat Warning

Today Peterborough Public Health issued the third Heat Warning of the season.  The heat will arrive during the day Thursday, July 21 with highs of 31°C to 33°C in most places.   Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 are also expected to be very warm, however, some areas could see some occasional relief due to the possibility of showers or thunderstorms.

Peterborough Public Health recommends these tips for staying cool at home:

  • Keep blinds or drapes closed to block out the sun during the day
  • Make meals that don’t use an oven, especially if you don’t have air conditioning
  • Unplug electronics and turn off lights when not in use
  • Use fans properly:
    • Place fans in or next to a window to bring in the cooler air from outside or
    • Place a bowl of ice in front of fans to cool air

Please remember to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially seniors who live on their own, to make sure they are not showing signs of heat-related illness.  Heat-related illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are preventable. The risk of heat-related illness increases with the amount of time spent in the heat, the temperature and an individual’s sensitivity to heat. If you feel faint, find it hard to breathe, or feel confused and disoriented because of the heat, call your doctor. In an emergency, call 911.

Peterborough Public Health issues warnings for high heat or humidity that is expected to last two or more days.  Peterborough Public Health follows a provincial Harmonized Heat Warning and Information System for dealing with heat events affecting Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, and the City and County of Peterborough.

Extreme heat is often accompanied by poor air quality.  Peterborough Public Health encourages you to monitor the Air Quality Health Index found as a link on the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change’s website www.airqualityontario.com and plan outdoor activities accordingly.

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For further information, please contact:

Wanda Tonus
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 285

 

 

 

 

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Smoking Prohibited in Outdoor Public Spaces for Everyone’s Health

July 14, 2016 – Peterborough Public Health Reminds Residents about Smoke-Free Laws

Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents and visitors that both the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and municipal smoking by laws restrict smoking in area parks, playgrounds, beaches and sports fields.

“These regulations protect people from outdoor exposure to second hand smoke, because even outdoors it is toxic,” said Donna Churipuy, Manager, Healthy Living Programs.  “In fact, there is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke.”

She noted that Tobacco Enforcement Officers are conducting inspections of Peterborough’s parks, playgrounds and beaches (including Peterborough Musicfest events and ball diamonds) where smoking could result in a fine up to $305.

Churipuy said the good news is that the norms are changing as more people expect and want smoke-free outdoor spaces.  “Smoke‐free public spaces provide a supportive environment for people who wish to stop smoking, and many people see positive, smoke-free role-modelling as especially important for our youth,” she said.  According to one 2011 Ipsos Reid poll, 89% of Ontarian respondents indicated that they would support additional tobacco control measures such as prohibiting smoking in areas where children play.

“We know that 2/3 of Peterborough residents who smoke want to quit smoking in the next six months,” Churipuy added.

Help is available for those who want to quit smoking by calling Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000.

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For further information, please contact:
Donna Churipuy
Manager, Healthy Living Programs
705-743-1000, ext. 218

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Peterborough Public Health Issues the Second Heat Warning of the Season  

July 11, 2016 – Today Peterborough Public Health is issuing the second Heat Warning of the season.  The heat will arrive during the day Tuesday, July 12 with highs of 30°C to 33°C in most places. Wednesday, July 13 and Thursday, July 14 are also expected to be very warm, however, some areas could see some occasional relief due to the possibility of showers or thunderstorms.

People suffer heat-related illnesses when their body temperature quickly rises and they are unable to cool themselves. The risk of heat-related illness increases with the amount of time spent in the heat, the temperature and an individual’s sensitivity to heat. If you feel faint, find it hard to breathe, or feel confused and disoriented because of the heat, call your doctor. In an emergency, call 911.

Please remember to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially seniors who live on their own, to make sure they are alright.

Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This decreases your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Peterborough Public Health issues warnings for high heat or humidity that is expected to last two or more days.  Peterborough Public Health follows a provincial Harmonized Heat Warning and Information System for dealing with heat events affecting Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, and the City and County of Peterborough.

Peterborough Public Health staff will monitor this system to determine when the Medical Officer of Health should declare a heat warning or extended heat warning.  This coordinated provincial system provides a consistent approach for processing and issuing heat warnings in Ontario.  It also provides evidence-based heat warning triggers which are founded on the association between temperature, humidex and mortality.

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.

Extreme heat is often accompanied by poor air quality.  Peterborough Public Health encourages you to monitor the Air Quality Health Index found as a link on the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change’s website www.airqualityontario.com and plan outdoor activities accordingly.

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For further information, please contact:
Wanda Tonus
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 285

 

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Air Quality Could Make Breathing a Challenge for Some Residents

 

July 7, 2016 – With today’s Special Air Quality Statement, Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents to take precautions to protect their health and reduce air pollution.

The Special Air Quality Statement was issued jointly on July 6, 2016 by Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for the City of Peterborough, Lakefield, and southern Peterborough County.

This Special Air Quality Statement is in place due to possible high levels of air pollution. Hot and sunny conditions are expected to cause increasing ground-level ozone concentrations this afternoon.  Moderate risk Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values are expected throughout the day with the potential of short-term high risk AQHI values this afternoon.  For more information on the AQHI please go to www.airqualityontario.ca.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. If you, or someone in your care, develop symptoms, reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities where ever possible until the air quality improves.

Health tips:

  • avoid exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes
  • consult your doctor for specific health advice
  • wear light clothing at work while air conditioning is reduced
  • avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day

For more information please visit our website at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or www.airqualityontario.com.

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For further information, please contact:

Wanda Tonus
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 285

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Public Health Reminds Beach-Goers to Safeguard Against “Swimmer’s Itch”

 June 23, 2016 – Itchy Rash Caused By Larvae Found in Shallow Waters Where Snails Abound

Peterborough Public Health reminds local residents to avoid swimming in areas where snails thrive to prevent exposure to larvae which cause “Swimmer’s Itch”.

Swimmer’s Itch is often described as an itchy rash that swimmers develop after swimming in lakes and rivers.  It is caused by tiny larvae in the water that can come from snails and birds.  When swimmers emerge from the lake, the larvae are present on their wet skin.  As the water evaporates, the larvae attempt to burrow into the skin, creating an itchy rash, which may develop into small reddish pimples or blisters.  Swimmer’s Itch is not contagious, and the larvae cannot live in the swimmer’s skin.  Itchiness may last up to a week or more.  Affected persons should not scratch the rash, as secondary infections may develop.

To reduce or avoid the development of Swimmer’s Itch:

  • Towel off briskly and thoroughly immediately after swimming
  • Do not swim or wade in shallow areas where snails are commonly found
  • Do not attract water birds by feeding them near swimming areas
  • Do not swim in areas where Swimmer’s Itch is a known problem

Many factors must be present for Swimmer’s Itch to become a problem in water.  Since these factors change (sometimes within a few days) the larvae responsible for Swimmer’s Itch will not always be present. For more information, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and click on “My Home & Environment” under “Beach Testing”.

Peterborough Public Health does not test beach water for these larvae, and therefore cannot post signage warning bathers of areas where Swimmer’s Itch may occur.

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For further information, please contact:
Atul Jain
Manager, Environmental Health Programs
705-743-1000, ext. 259

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