With above-normal temperatures expected across most of southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, starting Saturday and continuing over the weekend into early next week, Manitoba Health advises everyone is at risk from the effects of heat.
In a statement that was sent out on Friday, Manitoba Health reports that "People can die from prolonged exposure to heat when their body temperature is above 40 C (105 F)."
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement. The national forecaster states that a warm air mass will push in from Saskatchewan this weekend bringing heat and humidity to southern Manitoba, with temperatures reaching near 30 on Saturday, and into the mid 30s on Sunday.
"The risk of heat-related injuries such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke may be elevated due to the cool and rainy spring Manitobans may be acclimatized to. Temperatures are expected to cool early next week," reports Environment Canada.
There are increased concerns for older people, people with chronic illness, and people living alone, as these groups are put into the category of being at higher risk of becoming very sick from the heat. The risk increases if people in these groups live 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." - Manitoba Health.
All Manitobans can take care to prevent heat illness by drinking plenty of liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty. It is also advised that we avoid prolonged sun exposure.
Taking cool showers or baths can be helpful in bringing down body temperature. Cool spaces can usually be found in stores, a community centre, public library or places of worship.
It is important to monitor symptoms in yourself and in others. Watch for signs of headache; red, hot and dry skin; dizziness; confusion; nausea; rapid weak pulse; or a complete or partial loss of consciousness.
If you are with someone who becomes unconscious, 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 some medications can increase risk of heat-related illness. Use of other substances like amphetamines, alcohol or cannabis can also increase your risk. People or pets should never be left alone in a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight.
For more information on heat and health, call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) 1-888-315-9257.