Heat-related illnesses can be very serious. With another summer heatwave on the way, it’s important to make a plan to keep your family cool and healthy. Infants, young children and pregnant individuals are at higher risk for heat-related illness, especially if they are dehydrated.
Here are some tips to help your family Beat the Heat:
- Stay hydrated – Encourage everyone in your family to drink more fluids. If you are breastfeeding your baby, allow them to breastfeed more often.
- Dress for the weather – Dress in light-coloured, breathable clothing on hot days. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat keeps you cool and protects your eyes from the sun.
- Play in the shade – Stay cool and safe in the summer sun by moving into the shade. When using a stroller, create shade using a stroller canopy or breathable sunshade, instead of a blanket. Blankets can trap heat around your child, causing them to overheat.
- Take breaks from the heat – Move to an indoor space with air conditioning, particularly during the hottest times of the day, which is usually between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Find spaces to keep cool – Visit a local pool, splash pad, library or community centre.
Never leave your baby or child alone in a parked car, even for just a minute.
Babies and young children are much more sensitive to heat than adults. The temperature inside a car can reach more than 50°C, even when the outside temperature is much cooler. A hot car can cause heat stress, severe dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death.
- Always check the backseat of your vehicle before locking it.
- Set-up reminders, such as placing your wallet/phone in the back seat or putting a child’s toy in the front seat.
- Lock your car doors and trunk when the car is not in use so a child cannot climb in.
Watch for signs of dehydration and heat-related illness, such as:
- Tiredness or decreased activity/play
- Extreme thirst
- Dry mouth
- Fewer tears when crying
- Decreased urination / fewer wet diapers
- Fast, irregular breathing and / or heartbeat
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
Stay informed about weather in your community!Download the WeatherCAN app to receive alerts about upcoming weather events including heat warnings.
For more information:
- Connect with a public health nurse via eChat or call 416-338-7600
- Weather alerts for the City of Toronto – Environment & Climate Change Canada
- Keep children cool! Protect your child from extreme heat – Government of Canada