With our ice cold winters comes sizzling hot summers. We live in a city of extreme weather, some people hate it, but most love it.

The forecast shows +30 temperatures all week, and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is reminding residents to take precautions during periods of high heat and humidity.

Be sure to check on seniors – particularly those who may be isolated from friends and family, as well as young children and pets who may be more susceptible to heat related illnesses during extreme temperatures. Isolated seniors and the disabled are at greater risk of heat related illnesses.

Do not leave children or pets in vehicles. In the confined space of a car, temperatures can climb so rapidly that they overwhelm a child or pet’s ability to regulate his or her internal temperature. In a closed environment, the body, especially a small body, can go into shock quickly, and circulation to vital organs can fail.

Extreme heat safety tips:

* Avoid going out into the heat, especially in the mid-day hours.
* If outside, wear loose, light colored clothing and wear a hat with a brim.
* Drink plenty of water – at least eight glasses a day.
* Get into an air-conditioned space or a cooler area like a basement.
* Keep shades drawn and blinds closed to block the sun.
* Use cool baths or showers, cool towels and washcloths to cool the skin.
* Slow down, avoid or minimize physical exertion.
* Don’t leave any person or pet in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

Heat related illness can be mild to severe. The symptoms of heat related illness are as follows:

* Extreme fatigue and weakness
* Nausea or vomiting
* Light headedness or fainting

Here are some examples of heat related illness:

Heat Cramps
Although heat cramps are the least severe of heat health problems, they are a warning sign that your body is not coping well with the heat.

Heat exhaustion
Exertion in a hot, humid place will cause the body to lose fluids through heavy sweating. The blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a mild form of shock. If this goes untreated, the victim’s condition will worsen, the body temperature will continue to rise, and heat stroke might occur.

Heatstroke is an emergency. Anyone exhibiting the signs and symptoms of heat stroke should seek immediate medical attention by calling 911. With heatstroke the temperature control system which produces sweating to cool the body simply stops working and the body temperature can rise high enough to cause brain damage and death. A victim in this situation needs to be cooled quickly.

Symptoms of heatstroke are:

* Red, flushed skin – may become pale
* A body temperature of 106°F (41°C) or higher
* Seizures
* Extreme headache
* Rapid breathing
* Rapid pulse
* Sweating ceases
* Confusion
* Unconsciousness

Image Sun Drenched Originally uploaded by Digimist