A top health official at Windsor Regional Hospital is urging residents to use their common sense as the temperature peaks this weekend.
Environment Canada is calling for a high of 38 C on Saturday and 36 C on Canada Day; hot enough to make you very sick if you do not take precautions. On Thursday afternoon, the weather agency issued heat warnings for all of southwestern Ontario and on Friday it issued a special air quality statement for Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
Officials say hot and humid weather conditions are creating elevated pollution levels. High levels of air pollution are possible late Friday afternoon and are expected to last throughout the weekend.
Individuals may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
You may know already to wear loose clothing and drink a lot of water, but Windsor Regional Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Gary Ing says that may not be enough.
"Not just water. Electrolyte solutions like Gatorade," he says emphasizing that the body needs more than just fluid. "One common thing a person can do if they don't want to have a sports drink, you put half a teaspoon of sea salt in a litre of water. You can drink that."
Also, limit how much alcohol you drink.
Another consideration in the extreme heat and humidity is the medication you may be taking. Ing says some can make you more susceptible, especially if you have a lung or heart condition, or are diabetic.
"A lot of people take diuretics for either swelling or heart failure or for even blood pressure control. You will be dehydrating pretty quickly if you're on those medications. You've got to be careful," he says. "Medications like beta blocker is commonly used for people with heart conditions or high blood pressure; those also you have to be aware. Surprisingly, sometimes anti-histamines can affect also affect you along with some anti-depressants."
And, if you do start to feel confused, dizzy, or nauseous do not brush it off.
"You really should seek medical treatment in a clinic, or family physician or in the emergency room," says Ing.
The region is not expected to get a break from the heat until at least Wednesday.