Just in time for the beginning of fall, the Sudbury and District Health Unit has issued a heat warning for Greater Sudbury.

The health unit says heat warnings are issued when the forecast rises for two days to 29 degrees Celsius or above during the day and 18 degrees Celsius or above at night, or the humidex is 36 or above.

The health unit says continuous exposure to high heat levels can lead to dehydration and illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, fainting, heat rash or swelling of the hands, feet and ankles.

It adds people who are most at risk include older adults, infants and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, homeless people, people who use alcohol or illicit drugs and those who work or exercise in the heat.

"Although some individuals are at higher risk, anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses," Burgess Hawkins, a manager with the health unit said. "Everyone should take precautions."

Symptoms of heat-related illnesses include dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid breathing, extreme thirst and decreased urination.

Tips to avoid heat-related illness:

  • Check in with neighbours, friends and older family members to make sure they are cool and hydrated
  • Drink plenty of cool liquids before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration
  • Plan or reschedule outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that is light-coloured and made of breathable fabric
  • Never leave people or pets in a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight
  • Take a cool bath or shower periodically
  • Prepare meals that don't need to be cooked in the oven
  • Spend time in a cool place, such as a tree-shaded area, a swimming facility or an air conditioned building