Protecting yourself against heat and smog this summer

With the summer months just ahead of us we can expect higher temperatures and increased humidity and smog.  In order to protect yourself, your family and help those in our community, residents can sign up to receive heat and smog alerts from the Halton Region Health Department. These alerts help you plan your outdoor activities so you can enjoy a safe and fun summer in Halton.

A heat warning is issued when:

  • the temperature is expected to reach 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for two days, or
  • the humidex value is expected to reach at least 40°C for two days.

Alternatively, an extreme heat warning is issued when:

  • the temperature is expected to be at least 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for at least three days, or
  • there is a humidex of at least 40°C for at least three days.

During these heat and smog warnings, it’s important to drink plenty of water, take frequent activity breaks and use sun protection. While you’re protecting yourself and your family from preventable heat illnesses, it’s also important to visit your neighbours to make sure they’re cool and hydrated, especially if they are elderly, don’t have air conditioning or are at high-risk for a heat illness.

High heat and humidity are often accompanied by smog. Poor outdoor air quality poses a risk to our health in Halton Region and in many other communities across southern Ontario. Halton Region has various programs in place to help improve our air quality and the Halton Region Health Department regularly posts information on the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) so that you can stay informed and make decisions about how to protect your health from these environmental impacts.

Everyone knows that Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire, and part of what makes it so great here is the sense of community.  By staying informed, we can protect ourselves and our families, help those in our community and enjoy all Halton has to offer this summer.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter@garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”