High temperatures prompt first heat event of 2024 for Kingston region

Kingstonist file image.

High temperatures are expected in the Kingston area this week. From Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning (June 5 and 6, 2024), high temperatures will reach 31 to 32°C, with the overnight low near 20°C early Thursday morning.

Environment Canada issued a Special Weather Statement in the early afternoon of Tuesday, Jun. 4, 2024, noting that these conditions “pose a health risk when you are not used to the heat.”

Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health also released a statement on Tuesday afternoon. reminding residents that a combination of heat and high humidity can be hazardous to your health.

“Conditions during high heat and humidity have the potential to cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and in some cases death,” Public Health said.

In the statement, Public Health noted that during heat events, everyone is at risk, and the health risks are greatest for:

  • infants and young children
  • people who are pregnant
  • older adults
  • people who live alone
  • people with chronic medical conditions (for example, heart disease, respiratory conditions, diabetes or being overweight ) or mental illnesses (for example, schizophrenia, depression, dementia)
  • people on certain types of medications (for example, for high blood pressure, for mental illnesses, etc.)
  • people experiencing homelessness, those who are underhoused or encounter other challenges in accessing cool spaces
  • people with limited mobility
  • people who exercise vigorously outdoors (play sports, cyclists, gardeners)
  • outdoor workers (depending upon length or time and exertion levels)
  • people who work in places where heat is emitted through industrial processes (for example, foundries, bakeries, dry cleaners)

“If you or a loved one is at an increased risk for heat-related health risks, KFL&A Public Health recommends designating someone, a friend or neighbour, to do a wellness check on you or them throughout the duration of a heat event,” the statement requests.

Being prepared is key to protecting communities from negative health impacts due to heat, according to the statement. KFL&A Public Health recommends taking the following actions to stay cool:

  • Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure. For example, sit under a tree, wear a wide-brimmed, breathable hat, or use an umbrella.
  • Take breaks from the heat by spending a few hours in a cool place; take cool showers.
  • Reschedule strenuous outdoor activity or plan outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Prepare a basement, or cooler part of your home, for occupancy throughout and during the heat event. 
  • Block the sun out by closing awnings, curtains or blinds during the day, especially on the westerly side of the home or building.
  • Never leave people or pets in your care inside a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.

KFL&A Public Health encourages everyone to check on their neighbours, friends and family members, especially those who are chronically ill, and those at higher risk of heat-related illness, to make sure that they are cool and hydrated.

More information on protective measures can be found on KFL&A Public Health’s website kflaph.ca.

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