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June 09, 2017
Public Health issues first heat warning of 2017

A multi-day heat event will begin Sunday afternoon

Hot and humid weather will be moving into our region this weekend, prompting Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services to issue the first heat warning of the year.

Environment Canada is forecasting a multi-day heat event beginning Sunday afternoon with the daytime high temperature rising into the low 30s Celsius and overnight low temperatures in the 20s. The heat warning could become an extended heat warning as the conditions are expected to continue into Tuesday.

Public Health issues a Heat Warning or Extended Heat Warning based on the duration and intensity of the expected conditions:

  • Heat Warning -When forecast temperatures are expected to be at least 31oC and overnight temperatures are at or above 20oC for two days or the Humidex is forcast to be at least 40oC for two days.
  • Extended Heat Warning -When forecast temperatures are expected to be at least 31oC and overnight temperatures are above 20oC for three or more days or Humidex is at least 40oC for three or more days.

During heat events, residents should take extra precautions when caring for children and others at risk of complication from heat-related illness, including seniors, those with chronic health conditions, and people who work outdoors. Adults caring for children should watch for the usual signs of physical distress, such as rapid breathing, weakness, and headache, as well as symptoms like vomiting, sleepiness, or changes in behaviour, for instance, temper tantrums.

Anyone who experiences physical distress because of extreme temperatures should seek medical attention immediately either by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency department.

Tips to protect your health in the heat:

  • Drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid going outdoors when the heat is most intense, typically between 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • If you are outdoors, wear a hat or stay in the shade
  • Avoid intense outdoor activity
  • Never leave a child or pet in a car
  • Be aware of medication you are taking as some prescription and over-the-counter drugs and increase your sensitivity to the sun and heat
  • Check on family, friends and neighbours who are at risk of health complications from heat-related illness

Air Quality Health Index

Heat events can also cause poor air quality as heat and sunlight trap pollutants lower in the atmosphere. Poor air quality can affect breathing and make lung conditions and asthma worse, cause throat irritation, affect heart conditions and increase an individual’s risk of stroke.

Residents with health concerns, and those caring for children or seniors should monitor the Air Quality Health Index, referring to the readings for Kitchener and London. The Air Quality Health Index is updated daily with a forecasted air quality rating between 1-10 and associated colours.

Air Quality Health Index categories, values and associated colours

As the risk level rises, residents with health concerns and those caring for children and seniors should avoid outdoor activities.

The Air Quality Health Index can be monitored online through the Government of Ontario website, or by mobile app for Android and iOS operating systems for both smartphones and tablets.

Social media and online content

Oxford County Public Health: Extreme weather

Oxford County Public Health: Air Quality Health Index

Twitter: Oxford County

Facebook: Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services

About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County has a population of approximately 111,700 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050 and becoming a zero waste community. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture forms a cornerstone of the County’s economy, which boasts 55,000 jobs in a rapidly expanding commercial and industrial sector bolstered by its location at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403. The County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock. Visit or follow our social media sites at Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at


Adam Nyp | Strategic Communication & Engagement

519.539.9800, ext. 3529 |

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