affected by heat

Who is Most Affected by Heat?

(NC) Did you know that over the next 30 years, the number of extremely hot days in a year is expected to more than double in some parts of Canada? In fact, extreme heat and high temperatures pose a serious health risk to Canadians.

While extreme heat can lead to illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, some of us are more at risk than others. It’s important if you or anyone in your family belongs to one of these groups, that you take extra precautions this summer.

Who is most at risk?

Older adults. Many older adults face compounding factors that could put them at increased risk during extreme heat events. These factors may include chronic illnesses, medications that interfere with the body’s natural cooling mechanisms, and in some cases, social isolation and poverty.

Babies and young children. Given the unique physiological characteristics of children’s bodies and their high dependency on caregivers, they are likely to be at risk during extreme heat events.

People with chronic illness. Individuals with breathing difficulties, heart problems and some chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of heat-related health effects. People with these and other chronic illnesses may also be taking special medications that can make people more vulnerable to the heat.

People who spend more time outside. Those who work outdoors in the summer months, such construction workers, and people who exercise in the heat could face higher heat exposure and physical strain, resulting in increased risk.

To stay safe and minimize health risks, those who are most affected by the heat need to pay extra attention to the weather forecast, stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric, and plan outdoor activities for cooler days or in shadier locations.

Find more tips on how to stay cool this summer at canada.ca/health.