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HEAT, DRUGS and ALCOHOL

In the summer, the combination of high heat, high humidity and smog can be very dangerous. You need to be extra careful if you:
  • Drink heavily
  • Use illicit drugs
  • Take medications for mental health problems
  • Are elderly
  • Have heart or lung problems.
Some medications make it harder for your body to control its temperature. If you are on two or more medications, you may be at even greater risk for heat-related illness.

Here are some things you can do to keep from getting sick:
  • Drink lots of water and juice, even if you donít feel thirsty.
  • Try to stay out of the sun, especially in the middle of the day. If you have to be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • If you can get a hat, wear it.
  • Wear loose fitting, light clothing.
  • Try to take it easy, and rest as much as possible.
  • If you have to walk a long way, try to do it in the early morning or evening.
  • Try to spend time in cool places with air conditioning like drop-ins and community centres.
  • Take a cool shower from time to time. Some drop-ins and recreation centres have public showers.
  • Try to spend some time near the lake or waterfront where it is cooler.
  • If you sleep outside during the day, try to sleep in the shade. Remember the sun moves, so try to sleep in a spot that will be shady for a few hours.
Get help from a friend or a doctor if you have the following signs of heat illness:
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weakness or fainting
  • More tiredness than usual
  • Headache
  • Confusion
You can help someone with heat illness by doing these things:
  • Call for help.
  • Take extra clothing off the person.
  • Cool the person with lukewarm water, by sponging or bathing.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Give the person sips of cool water, not ice cold water.
If you become ill, faint, have trouble breathing or feel confused, call 911 or go to your doctor or nearest hospital right away.

This valuable information is provided by the City of Toronto website, for complete and upto-date info, please visit: www.toronto.ca Always consult your doctor or physician.

 
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