Doctors urge Montrealers to take caution during heat wave

WATCH: As the weather in Montreal continues to heat up, doctors are urging people to take care of themselves. Global’s Sarah Volstad reports.

MONTREAL — Summer has finally hit the city, and Montrealers are looking to make it count. But like any good thing, even summer needs to be enjoyed responsibly.

“We bring a lot of water and sunscreen and we’re in the shade,” said Montreal resident Zsazsa Sivo.

On Monday, Environment Canada issued a weather alert for the Montreal and Laval areas warning of daytime humidex values hovering around 38 until Tuesday.

“The worst thing about the heat is the classic line: it’s not about the heat, it’s the humidity,” said Dr. Mitch Shulman, Global Montreal’s health expert. “Your body accommodates itself to the heat by getting rid of the extra heat within your body by sweating. If the humidity goes up, you can’t sweat as effectively.”

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Most of us tend to hit the beach, the lake or the pool during a heat wave — but Shulman suggests another option.

“Stay indoors,” said Shulman.

For those who can’t bear the thought of being indoors on a beautiful summer day, there are some signs and symptoms you should be looking out for if you’re planning to spend long periods of time outdoors.

“You’ll feel the heat, you’ll feel unwell – nausea, headache, you may actually throw up – or someone may notice a change in your behaviour,” said Shulman. “Those are all signs that you may be in trouble.”

He advises anyone experiencing these symptoms to contact 911. He also reminds parents and pet owners never to leave children or animals unattended in hot vehicles.

“It doesn’t make a difference if you open the window a little bit, it doesn’t make a difference if it’s in the shade, it doesn’t make a difference if it’s a light-coloured car.”

Temperatures should be back to seasonal norms by Tuesday night.

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