Above-normal temperatures are expected across southern, central and parts of northern Manitoba starting today and continuing over the weekend into early next week. Manitoba Health advises that everyone is at risk from the effects of heat. People can die from prolonged exposure to heat, when their body temperature is above 40 C (105 F).
Heat illness is preventable. Older adults, people with chronic illness and people living alone are at a higher risk, especially if they are living in an urban area or do not have air conditioning. Manitobans are encouraged to check in regularly with vulnerable or isolated community members, friends and family who might be at risk. Others at greater risk include infants and young children, and people who work or exercise in the heat.
All Manitobans can take care to prevent heat illness by:
• drinking plenty of liquids, especially water, before feeling thirsty;
• avoiding prolonged sun exposure;
• consider cancelling outdoor activities or rescheduling during cooler times of the day;
• if working outdoors, take more breaks and stay well hydrated;
• wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat;
• limiting alcohol consumption;
• blocking sun out at home during the day by closing awnings, curtains or blinds;
• taking a cool shower or bath; or
• going to a cool place such as a mall, community centre, public library or place of worship.
It is important to monitor symptoms in yourself and in others. The following symptoms indicate you or someone you are with may be overheating and are at risk of heat illness. If these symptoms occur, immediately move to a cool place and drink water:
• red, hot and dry skin;
• rapid weak pulse; or
• a complete or partial loss of consciousness.
If you are with someone who becomes unconscious or is confused, or feels dry and hot, call 911. This may be heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. While waiting for emergency medical help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool or shaded place, apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing, and fan the person as much as possible.
Individuals should continue to take their prescribed medications, but it is important to be aware that some medications can increase risk of heat-related illness. Use of other substances like amphetamines, alcohol or cannabis can also increase risk. People or pets should never be left alone in a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
Any additional updates from the province on heat-related illness and prevention will be shared from the Twitter channel @MBGov throughout the summer. Updated weather forecasts are available from Environment and Climate Change Canada at https://weather.gc.ca/canada_e.html.