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  • Heat


    • People 65 and over (especially those living in places without air conditioning);
    • People playing sports or working outdoors or in environments where the industrial activity produces heat;
    • Infants and young children (0 to 4 years of age);
    • People who live alone and those with reduced autonomy;
    • People with a chronic disease, mental health issue, addiction problem or living in homelessness.

    Children 0 to 4

    Never leave a child or pet alone in a car or poorly ventilated room, even for a few minutes.

    To learn more about the precautions to take for children (0 to 4 years old), read the following document for parents and caregivers (PDF).


    How can you help those who hare more vulnerable?

    • Check in on them regularly.
    • Make sure they are following the prevention tips and offer to get them help, if need be.


    Watch for heat warnings and follow Environment Canada recommandations.

    Hydrate often

    • Drink plenty of water, without waiting to be thirsty. Follow your doctor's instructions regarding the amount of liquid to drink, if necessary.
    • Avoid drinks that are high in caffeine or alcohol, as they can increase dehydration.
    • For the breastfed baby, offer the breast on demand. For the infant fed commercial infant formula, offer it often. For babies over six months, offer small amounts of water after or between feeds.

    Cool off often

    • Take a cool shower or bath as often as needed, or cool your skin with a wet towel several times a day.
    • Spend at least a few hours a day in an air-conditioned or cooler place in your home.
    • Close curtains or blinds when the sun is shining, and ventilate your home if possible when the night is cool.

    Protect yourself from the heat and the sun outside

    • Limit physical efforts. For children, limit their strenuous outdoor activities such as endurance sports.
    • Keep babies and young children in the shade.
    • Wear light-colored clothing, sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen approved by the /typo3conf/l10n/fr/rtehtmlarea/Resources/Private/Language/fr.locallang_accessibilityicons.xlf:external_link_new_window_altTextCanadian Dermatology Association.
    • Encourage activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., when the heat is less intense.

    Help others

    During heat waves, check in regularly on older people and people with chronic diseases or mental health problems (including alcohol or drug addiction) to make sure they’re taking the recommended preventive measures, and to help them should they need it.  

    To learn more, consult the fact sheet /typo3conf/l10n/fr/rtehtmlarea/Resources/Private/Language/fr.locallang_accessibilityicons.xlf:external_link_new_window_altTextIt’s really hot!” (PDF).



    Symptoms that require monitoring changes in health


    It is important to monitor any deterioration in the health of an adult who has the following symptoms:

    • Headaches
    • Muscular cramps
    • Swollen hands, feet and ankles
    • Appearance of small red bumps on the skin, called a “heat rash”
    • Unusual fatigue or exhaustion
    • Generalized malaise
    • Signs of dehydration:
      • Intense thirst
      • Less frequent need to urinate
      • Dark urine
      • Dry skin
      • Rapid pulse and breathing

    If you have questions about your health, call Info‑Santé 811 or consult a health professional, a pharmacist for instance.

    When to consult 

    Other symptoms, however, require immediate medical attention, meaning within 2 hours. An adult who has one or more of the following symptoms must be taken to the emergency room immediately or 9‑1‑1 must be called on their behalf:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Convulsions (stiffness of the body and jerky, involuntary muscle contractions)
    • Signs of impaired consciousness:
      • Confusion
      • Unusual behaviour
      • Agitation
      • Hallucinations
      • No response to stimuli
      • Loss of consciousness

    • Signs of heat stroke:
      • Temperature over 39.5 ºC (103.1 ºF) with an oral thermometer or over 40 ºC (104 ºF) with a rectal thermometer
      • Dry, red, hot skin or pale, cold skin
      • Dizziness and vertigo
      • Confused and illogical speech
      • Aggressive or bizarre behaviour
      • Generalized malaise
      • Heat stroke is the most serious effect of heat. It can occur suddenly and quickly lead to death if not treated.

    Babies or children

    Certain symptoms may indicate the presence of heat-related complications:

    • Dry skin, lips or mouth
    • Abnormal skin colour (red or pale)
    • Headaches
    • Sunken eyes with dark rings
    • Dark and smaller quantity of urine
    • Vomiting, diarrhea
    • Unusual restlessness, irritability or confusion
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Drowsiness, prolonged sleep and difficulty waking up
    • Body temperature over 38.5ºC (101.3ºF) with a rectal thermometer or over 37.5ºC (99.5ºF) with an oral thermometer (Note: Using an oral thermometer to take the temperature of newborns, babies and children under 5 years old is not recommended.)

    When to consult

    A child’s health, especially a very young child, can deteriorate quickly and be difficult to notice. When a baby or child shows symptoms, a medical consultation is usually necessary. If you are unsure, you can call Info‑Santé 811. In an emergency, call 9‑1‑1