How to Keep Safe When it's Hot Outside


We’re welcoming summer and all the opportunities to get outside – but summer heat and high temperatures can be dangerous, especially if you have:

  • breathing difficulties
  • heart problems
  • hypertension
  • kidney problems
  • a mental illness such as depression or dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • if you take medication for any of these conditions

If you are taking medication or have a health condition, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it increases your health risk in the heat and follow their recommendations.

 Heat illness

Heat illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat fainting, heat edema (swelling of hands, feet and ankles), heat rash and heat cramps (muscle cramps).

Heat illnesses can affect you quickly and are mainly caused by overexposure to heat or overexertion in the heat.

Prepare for the heat

Tune in regularly to local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.

Arrange for regular visits by your family, neighbours or friends during very hot days in case you need assistance. Visitors can help identify signs of heat illness that could be missed over the phone.

If you have an air conditioner, make sure it works properly before the hot weather starts. Otherwise, find an air-conditioned spot close by where you can cool off for a few hours during very hot days.

Pay close attention to how you - and those around you – feel.

Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include:

  • dizziness or fainting
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • extreme thirst (dry mouth or sticky saliva)
  • decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine.

If you experience any of these symptoms during hot weather, immediately go to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency! Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you are caring for someone, such as a neighbor, who has a high body temperature and is either unconscious, confused or has stopped sweating.

While waiting for help, cool the person right away:

  • move them to a cool place, if you can
  • apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing
  • fan the person as much as possible.