UPDATE: Public Health Issues Level 2 Heat Alert for Kingston

Published on: 2011/07/15 - in News

UPDATE: July 19 – KFL&A Public Health has upgraded their advisory to a Level 2 Heat Alert.

KFL&A Public Health has issued a Level 1 Heat Alert to residents of the Kingston area due to a forecast of hot, humid weather throughout the weekend and into early next week. Level 1 Heat Alerts are announced when the temperature or humidex is forecast to be 36°C for two or more days in a row.

“Warm summer temperatures put stress on the body’s ability to stay cool,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health. “Perspiration increases to help to maintain constant body temperature. This process results in a loss of body fluids, which can lead to dehydration over a long period if fluid is not replaced. Furthermore, high humidity reduces the effectiveness of cooling though perspiration and increases the risk of becoming overheated. These two factors combined with the heat of the sun can lead to health consequences, unless proper precautions are taken.”

In a Level 1 Heat Alert, people should avoid physical exertion during the heat of the day and drink plenty of fluids. Although everyone is at risk for heat-related illnesses during these weather conditions, health risks are greatest for older adults, infants and younger children, people with chronic illnesses (including breathing difficulties, heart conditions , or mental health illnesses), homeless people, low-income earners, people with disabilities, and people who work or exercise in the heat.

KFL&A Public Health emergency preparedness manager, Adrienne Hansen-Taugher, stated that KFL&A Public Health monitors Environment Canada and Air Quality Ontario forcasts, adding “We issue heat advisories when we recognize the likely potential that a heat threshold will be reached within the next 24 to 48 hours, activating the extreme heat health response plan.”

Residents are reminded to seek relief from the hot, humid weather in a number of air conditioned public places and establishments, operating under normal business hours.

Locally, these areas include the Kingston Frontenac Public Libraries and the Lennox & Addington County Branch Libraries , as well as shopping malls, municipal public swimming and wading pools & splash pads.

KFLA Public Health has also created a zoomable, interactive “Cool down Here” map on Google to find a number of these publicly accessible air conditioned locations.

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Source photo by: Marcus Jeffrey