PEI

How to beat the heat and stay safe on hot, muggy days

The ocean breeze cut through the humid air as people were walking and jogging along the Victoria Park boardwalk in Charlottetown as humidex levels reached the mid 30's across P.E.I. Tuesday afternoon.

Organizations on P.E.I. are reminding people to be prepared for the warm weather

Some people beat the heat by going to the beach every chance they get where there is usually a breeze and always an ocean to jump into to cool off. (John Robertson/CBC)

The ocean breeze cut through the humid air as people walked and jogged along the Victoria Park boardwalk in Charlottetown under a heat warning as humidex levels reached the mid-30s across P.E.I. Tuesday afternoon.

Other parts of the country are also dealing with heat warnings and dangerous humidex levels.

"It's not a heat warning compared to Ontario but it is beautiful weather here," said Robert Craig, enjoying the walk in the sunshine.

Organizations on P.E.I. are reminding people to be prepared for the warm weather.

Recommendations to beat the heat

Jeremy Measham, an advanced care paramedic with Island EMS, said any time the humidex is 33 C or higher, people are at risk for heat illnesses.

He offered a number of tips for staying safe and cool. 

  • Stay hydrated with water — drink even if you are not thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Wear a hat and loose, light-coloured clothing.
  • Avoid cooking indoors if possible.
  • Seek out shade or places with air conditioning to help cool down.
Jeremy Measham, an advanced care paramedic with Island EMS, says people just need to take care during the heat. (John Robertson/CBC)

Check on your neighbours

Measham also recommended checking in on friends, family and neighbours to ensure that others are safe while dealing with the heat.

"This is especially true for the very young and the very old or seniors," Measham said. "They tend to have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature and sometimes if you are living with a chronic condition or chronic illness, it can make it more difficult to regulate your body temperature as well."

The majority of emergency calls during heat events are usually people over-exerting themselves doing physical activities in the heat, Measham said.

People were dressing for the heat as they were walking around downtown Charlottetown. (John Robertson/CBC)

P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, also sent out a statement recommending Islanders take precautions when the temperatures rise.

Morrison urges paying close attention to how people are doing and reacting in the heat, and is also reminding Islanders not to leave children or animals in hot cars. 

Possible heat illness symptoms

The Chief Public Health Officer urged Islanders to watch for symptoms of heat illness, including:

  • Rapid breathing.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Extreme thirst or decreased urination.
  • Changes in children's behaviour like sleepiness or temper tantrums.

Measham also mentioned cramps and confusion as possible signs of heat illness. Both the Public Health Officer and Island EMS recommend people should try to cool down as soon as they are able.

Public libraries across the province were reminding people that they have air conditioning. 

The Public Health Officer encourages people to seek medical attention if someone is found "who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating."

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With files from John Robertson