A heat warning is now in effect for all of southern Manitoba. The warning actually stretches all the way from parts of BC to the Ontario border.

Environment Canada says 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.

Environment Canada is currently calling for a high of 32 degrees on Thursday with a humidex of 39. Friday is also supposed to be 32 degrees, before the daytime high dips below 30 degrees again on Saturday. 

Environment Canada says extreme heat can affect everyone's health, noting the health risks are greater for older adults, infants and young children, pregnant people, people with physical and/or mental illnesses, and people with disabilities or mobility issues.

We are encouraged to watch for the effects of heat illness, including swelling, rash, cramps, fainting, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and the worsening of some health conditions.

During this heat wave, you are encouraged to drink plenty of water regularly, even before you feel thirsty to decrease your risk of dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

If you are in an overheated area, you are encouraged to seek a cool place such as a tree-shaded area, splash pad, misting station, or air-conditioned spot like a public building.

You are urged to limit direct sun exposure and to shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat and/or an umbrella.

Environment Canada says in weather like this you should never leave people, particularly children, or pets inside a parked vehicle.

Early signs of heat illness should be watched for, which include early signs of feeling unwell, fatigue, thirst, and headache as these can rapidly evolve into life-threatening emergencies. Move to a cooler environment immediately, such as a shaded or air-conditioned space.

You are encouraged to keep your house cool, by turning on your air conditioning, closing curtains or blinds, or relocating to a cooler location such as a basement or public cooling centre.

Workers are advised to take regularly scheduled breaks in a cool or shaded space.

Other tips for reducing the health effects of heat include:

  •  taking a cool shower or bath or taking a break in a cool location, such as an air-conditioned building or a tree-shaded area,
  •  staying out of direct sunlight and wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and a wide-brimmed hat or shading yourself with an umbrella,
  •  drinking plenty of water, before you feel thirsty and staying in a cool place, and if you must go out, taking water with you,
  •  checking on family, friends, and neighbours and checking regularly on people living alone, especially older individuals or people with health conditions, and making sure they are cool and drinking water,
  •  watching for signs of heat stroke (which may begin with headache, hot skin, dizziness, or confusion) and taking action immediately.

For more information on heat and your health:

  •  Visit Manitoba Health at: manitoba.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/heat.html. 
  •  Call Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257.