Skip to main content

Extreme heat

Extreme heat already causes measurable health impacts in our region and will become more of an issue as the climate warms. These events can trigger a number of heat-related illnesses (such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke) and in extreme situations, can lead to permanent disability or death. Older adults, people with chronic conditions, people on certain medications, infants and young children are especially sensitive to the health effects of heat.

Symptoms of heat illness can range from mild to severe.

What heat illness looks like:

  • heavy sweating

  • muscle cramps

  • fatigue

  • dizziness or fainting

  • headache

  • nausea or vomiting

  • extreme thirst

  • decreased urination

  • rapid breathing or heartbeat

  • or changes in behaviour such as confusion, lack of coordination or hallucinations.

Severe cases can lead to heat stroke, a condition requiring immediate medical care.

How to deal with the heat

Making sure that people have a way to stay cool and drink plenty of water is the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses during extreme heat events.  Call 911 if you think a person requires immediate medical care. The resources below provide information on the symptoms of heat-related illness and how to stay healthy in the heat.

During the summer months both heat and wildfire smoke can be a health concern. Find out more about wildfire smoke.  

Heat resources

Staying Healthy in the Heat – infographics

Beat the Heat - HealthLink BC

Heat Related Illness - HealthLink BC


Protect yourself from extreme heat - Health Canada


Protect your child from extreme heat - Health Canada

Information for the Acute Care setting

Acute care during extreme heat - Health Canada

Information for the Residential Care setting

Health facilities preparation for extreme heat - Health Canada

 Residential care facilities and heat

Information for child care facilities 

 Child care facilities and heat

SOURCE: Extreme heat ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.