Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) issued a statement on Saturday reminding people, and particularly those with conditions that would make them more vulnerable to heat or who will be working outdoors, to stay cool as much as possible over the coming days.
The risks of heat waves are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and people working or exercising outdoors.
Everyone, regardless of their personal risk category, is encouraged to:
Drink plenty of water, even before you feel thirsty.
Stay in a cool place as much as possible.
Check in on family, friends and neighbours who are elderly or more isolated to make sure they are cool and drinking water.
And never leave people or pets inside a parked vehicle, even with the windows open.
Other methods recommended to stay cool include taking cool showers or baths, closing curtains or blinds during the day and opening windows at night, wearing lighter clothing, and limiting physical activity.
Although pools and beaches become more tempting locales in high heat, the MSSS also encourages people to swim with water safety in mind, being careful not to dive into shallow or unknown water, to never swim alone or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and to not leave pool toys floating in the water when finished.
In Sherbrooke, the opening hours of the pools and public beaches have been modified in light of the weather. Whereas many of the pools have been closed as the lifeguarding staff prepare to go back to school, the pools at Parc Nault in Brompton, the Parc des Optimistes in Fleurimont, Centennial Park in Lennoxville, and the Alfred-Élie-Dufresne and Saint-Alphonse de Liguori in the Des Nations borough will remain open on varied schedules until September 12. Full details of each pool’s opening hours can be found at Sherbrooke.ca/picines.
Heat warnings are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. A heat warning in effect for the Eastern Townships on Sunday from Environment Canada stated that humidex values will continue to reach 40 degrees during the daytime, with nights that are uncomfortably warm.