Stay safe this summer by protecting yourself against heat and smog

AQHI_KidsWEBHalton Region is committed to helping you make safe and healthy choices to enhance your quality of life. This summer, sign up to receive environmental alerts delivered right to your inbox to help protect yourself and your family from the health impacts associated with heat warnings and times when air quality is poor.

Protect yourself from low air quality

By promoting the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) across the region, Halton can help you make healthy choices to help improve your health and well-being. The AQHI helps you to understand what the air quality around you means to your health. It helps you stay healthy by telling you the best time of the day to be physically active and when to reduce or reschedule outdoor activities.

AQHI_IndicatorTo help people gain a better understanding of the AQHI this summer, Halton Region will be promoting the various colours related to the levels of risk:

  • On a blue air day (low risk: 1-3 on the AQHI scale), air quality is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities.
  • On an orange air day (moderate risk: 4-6 on the AQHI scale), people with heart or breathing issues may want to consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if they are experiencing symptoms. Otherwise, enjoy being physically active outside.
  • On a red air day (high risk: 7-10 on the AQHI scale), people with heart or breathing issues, as well as children and older adults, should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Others should also consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities, especially if experiencing coughing or throat irritation.
  • On a maroon air day (very high risk: +10 on the AQHI scale), everyone should either avoid, reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activity.

By knowing whether it’s a blue, orange or red air day in Halton Region, you can protect your health and adjust your outdoor activities appropriately. Sign up for electronic alerts to be sent to your inbox when air quality is a concern.

Protect yourself from the heat

With the summer months now here, we can begin to expect higher temperatures. In order to protect yourself, your family and help those in our community who may be more vulnerable to higher temperatures, you can also sign up for electronic heat alerts from the Halton Region Health Department.

During heat warnings and on days with poor air quality, it’s important to drink plenty of water, take frequent activity breaks and use sun protection. It’s also important to visit family members, friends and neighbours to make sure they’re cool and hydrated, particularly the elderly who are at a high-risk for heat-related illnesses.

By staying informed, we can protect ourselves and our families, help others 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 @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.