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JGH doctor provides tips to stay cool during heat wave

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Environment Canada has issued a high heat and humidity warning, affecting Montreal region. With high levels of humidity in today’s forecast, it is expected to be hot and uncomfortable, with temperatures climbing to 40C with the humidex.

To prepare for the hot weather and humid conditions expected, Dr. Eli Segal, Staff Doctor in the Department of Emergency Services at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) is listing some important tips on how to keep cool during the next few hot days.

In a short video, Dr. Segal warns that health risks are greatest for the elderly, infants and young children, people with chronic medical conditions and those with psychiatric conditions.

He notes that prevention is key: avoiding activities that are outdoors during the hottest times of day, drinking enough liquids and staying in cool, air-conditioned areas or in the shade whenever possible. In addition, it is essential to replenish sodium and potassium in the body with water and even sports drinks to stay hydrated.

Some symptoms to watch out for are muscle cramps, profuse sweating, headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. These are all symptoms of heat exhaustion, which, if left unchecked, can develop into heat stroke and cause damage to the brain and other vital organs or even cause death. Dr. Segal warns that if, despite your efforts of treating your feelings of dehydration or heat exhaustion, you continue to feel worse, do not hesitate to call 911 and seek medical care.

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