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County offers cooling stations to help beat the heat

Ice cream is a favourite treat to beat the heat, says Melinda Handley, of Cones & Shakes, on Elk Street, Picton. Bill Samuel photo

By Bill Samuel

This week’s heat wave prompted the municipality to offer residents and visitors to Prince Edward County two County Cooling Centres Thursday at the Wellington and Prince Edward Community centres. Bottled water was made available at both locations and the public was welcome to take advantage of the air conditioning. Environment Canada had warned  higher then normal temperatures will continue to Friday.
High temperatures combined with high humidity can be dangerous for vulnerable individuals, including the very young, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses or those on medications that make them more sensitive to heat.
Local residents agree the intense heat is something they are thinking about as they go about their day.

Nothing cures the heat blues better than an air conditioner, says Gord Mark, of Mark Heating on Cty Rd. 1. Bill Samuel photo

“Air conditioning is your best bet to beat the heat,” agreed Gord and Margaret Mark, of Mark Heating and Cooling. “We can normally have a unit installed the next day and we have units for people without central heating.”
But for those who need to be outside, refreshment is key.
“Ice cream is a favourite when it is hot,” said Melinda Handley of Cones & Shakes on Elk St. in Picton. “But milkshakes and sundaes are good heat-beaters also.”
Some people felt other refreshments would do the trick.
“Me and the lads are headed to the beer store in an hour,” said Rick Miller, of Picton. “Just as soon as we are done clearing this brush.”
Many pet lovers worry about the canine and feline friends in the heat.

Onyx, the Black Lab, with his human Patrick Lewis, of Robyn's Nest, is thankful for plenty of fresh water, ventilation and shade. Bill Samuel photo

Onyx, the black lab at Robyn’s Nest in Picton is thankful for plenty of fresh water, good ventilation and shade to help his friends through the heat. Reptiles, on the other hand, will quite enjoy the extra B.T.U.’s he thought.
The Health Unit of Hastings and Prince Counties recommends the following:
*Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices even if you don’t feel
very thirsty.
*Avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee and cola.
*Avoid going out in the blazing sun or heat when possible. If you
must go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible.
*Plan to go out early in the morning or in the evening when it is
cooler and smog levels may not be as high.
*Wear a hat.
*Go to air-conditioned or cool places such as shopping malls,
libraries, community centres or a friend’s air-conditioned home.
*If you don’t have air conditioning, keep shades or drapes drawn and
blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows
slightly open.
*Wear loose-fitting, light clothing.
*Keep lights off or turned down low.
*Take a cool bath or shower periodically or cool down with cool, wet towels.
*Avoid heavy meals and using your oven.
*Avoid intense or moderately intense physical activity.
*Never leave a child or a pet in a parked car or allow them to sleep
in direct sunlight.
*Fans alone may not provide enough cooling when the temperature is high.
*Consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the side effects of your
These are the warning signs if a person is over-heated:
Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
Weakness, dizziness or fainting
More tiredness than usual
If you, or someone you encounter, is suffering from these symptoms
seek medical attention immediately.

The best heat-beating solution for Prince Edward County residents and visitors? A trip to the Sandbanks! Bill Samuel photo.

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