Coping with a heat wave -advice from Toronto Emergency Medical Services

Toronto’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is reminding the public to take precautions during the heat wave.

“We’re seeing more patients than normal, and we want people to take some simple steps to stay safe and healthy in the heat,”said EMS Chief Paul Raftis. “As the heat wave continues, your physical coping mechanisms begin to break down, especially for the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions.”

Tips

– Drink lots of plain water or natural fruit juices to help you stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink.

– Stay out of the sun and avoid exercising during the heat of the day, particularly from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

– Check on elderly or infirm relatives and neighbours. If you have not spoken to someone who you are normally in contact with, phone them or drop by to make sure they are safe and healthy.

– If you do not have air conditioning, try to visit a cool location such as a library, community centre or designated cooling centre. Even a couple of hours in a cool environment will help your body cope. Locations of air-conditioned places and cooling centres: http://www.toronto.ca/health/heatalerts/beatheat_ac_places.htm

– If you start to develop symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headache, lethargy or muscle cramping, find a cool environment and try to drink two or three glasses of cool water.

– Call 911 if you or someone you know is showing significant symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or fainting.

For more information, call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 or visit the EMS web page for tips at http://torontoems.ca/main-site/careers/safety-tips/hot-weather.html.