Climate change affects temperature and increases the frequency of extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods. These changes impact public health in numerous ways. Here are a few suggestions to help prevent these health problems.
Extreme heat can cause significant health problems. Certain areas of a city have a higher maximum temperature than other areas. These are called “urban heat islands.” The difference between the temperatures of these islands and those of rural areas and neighbouring forests can reach 12°C.
Several factors can cause the formation of urban heat islands:
As such, during periods of oppressive and extreme heat, it is best to find cooler areas:
Numerous measures are in place to create cool areas and counter the effects of urban heat islands. For example, cities plant trees and establish green spaces in order to create cool areas near some hot spots.
Extreme heat can cause significant health problems.
During periods of oppressive heat, you can take precautions to protect yourself, such as staying hydrated and dressing appropriately. For more advice, consult Preventing the Effects of Oppressive and Extreme Heat.
On warmer days, people spend more time outdoors and are more exposed to the sun. Make sure you protect yourself by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses. For more information on how to protect yourself from the sun and UV rays, and to know the effects of tanning on your skin, consult Protection from the Sun and UV Rays.
Smog can cause various respiratory problems, even in healthy individuals. During periods of smog, avoid intense outdoor physical activity. Vulnerable people should stay indoors. These people include:
Several diseases transmitted by insects and ticks, such as the West Nile virus and Lyme disease, have become more frequent in recent years because of climate change. For more information, consult Protecting Yourself from Mosquito and Tick Bites and Reducing the Number of Mosquitoes in your Surroundings.
Climate change is attributable to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions that has occurred over the past decades. Reducing these emissions will prevent even greater deterioration of the temperature and an increase in extreme weather events. You can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by doing the following:
Last update: December 7, 2015 9:35 AM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.