Government of New Brunswick

When the temperature is very hot, your body has to work harder to keep cool. 

Symptoms of heat stress may include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness or faintness,
  • muscle cramps,
  • nausea or vomiting,
  • rapid breathing and heartbeat, and
  • dry mouth (extreme thirst).

If you or someone else is experiencing any of these symptoms immediately try to cool down by doing any of the followings:

  • move to a cooler location,
  • drink plenty of cool fluids, especially water,
  • splash cool water on your face and back of neck,
  • remove unnecessary clothing.
  • sprinkle clothing with water,
  • use air conditioning if available, or
  • take a cool bath or shower,

Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks (such as pop, tea, coffee) as this will dehydrate you.

If the symptoms persist, seek medical attention.


Heat stroke is a medical emergency.

CALL 911 or your local emergency number IMMEDIATELY if the person you are attending to:

  • falls unconscious,
  • has stopped sweating,
  • has high body temperature (40oC or higher),
  • is confused or agitated, or
  • has rapid, shallow breathing.

While waiting for transportation to a medical facility:

  • move the person immediately to a cooler location if possible,
  • remove unnecessary clothing,
  • apply cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing, and
  • fan the person as much as possible.

During a heat event, it is mainly the most vulnerable persons that are affected. The main cause of illness and death during a heat wave is the aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as the specific symptoms of heat exhaustion (listed above) and heatstroke. Watch for other signs of a heat related illness, such as:

  • difficulty sleeping, drowsiness and changes in behaviour;
  • increased body temperature;
  • difficulty breathing and increased heart rate; and
  • worsening health problems, especially of the heart or respiratory system.

The following actions should be taken to prevent heat stress during extreme heat:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before feeling thirsty. Beverages that contain alcohol are not recommended as they may cause the body to lose fluids and can interfere with the body's ability to cool itself.
  2. Never leave those in your care inside a parked car or in direct sunlight.  Temperatures can rise to 52ºC (125ºF) within 20 minutes in an enclosed vehicle when the outside temperature is 33ºC (93ºF). Leaving the car windows slightly open will not keep the inside of the vehicle at a safe temperature.
  3. Plan outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day. Remember mosquitoes will also be active at those times.  Protect yourself with insect repellent.
  4. Keep sun out with curtains or blinds.
  5. Keep windows closed if the temperature outside is higher than it is inside;
  6. If the temperature outside at night drops lower than it is inside, open the windows if it is safe to do so;
  7. Avoid exposure to the sun.  If sun exposure is unavoidable, protect yourself from sunburn by using a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher and apply it at least 30 minutes before a sun exposure.
  8. Wear light coloured, loose-fitted and ventilated clothing.  A ventilated, light- coloured, wide brimmed hat is also recommended.
  9. Spend a few hours in a cool place or in an air-conditioned location (mall, library, church, shaded park or at a pool).
  10. Make arrangements to spend time or sleep in a cooler place.
  11. Visit older family members, neighbours and friends, especially the chronically ill, to make sure they are cool and hydrated.  Those living in an apartment with no air conditioning are at greater risk.
  12. Avoid using the oven for cooking a meal.
  13. Be aware that fans alone may not provide enough cooling when the temperature and humidity are high.
  14. Take cool showers or baths until refreshed.
  15. Organizers of sporting events should modify the rules to accommodate additional water breaks or consider rescheduling outdoor activities.
  16. Make arrangements to move high-risk people living in apartments with no air-conditioning  to a cool location;
  17. Sprinkle clothing with water
  18. Splash cool water on your face and back of neck.