Visit of pope Francis (July 27-28-29, 2022)

Thinking of participating in the events?

Be prepared. Do the right things. Know what to do.

 

Public Health recommendations to prevent some health problems that could occur during the festivities
 

The most vulnerable people who have to wait for long hours outside are more likely to experience health effects. For example, the elderly and those with chronic cardiovascular, respiratory or kidney diseases, diabetes, mental health problems, as well as pregnant women, infants and children under five years of age, must take the right steps to prevent health problems.

Heat is not to be taken lightly, especially when accompanied by high humidity, intense sunlight, rain, as well as hunger and standing essentially still for long periods of time can have significant impacts on health, especially for vulnerable people. Problems that can occur include dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, ailments, cramps, fever, fainting, exhaustion, heat stroke, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and falls.

Here are some recommendations to prevent these health problems :

  • Carry enough water with you;
  • Bring cold meals and snacks to satisfy your cravings;
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing light, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses;
  • Carry a portable seat or ground cover to sit on;
  • Carry an umbrella or sunshade for protection if necessary, depending on weather conditions;
  • Wear appropriate footwear, use walking aids to prevent falls, take your medications as usual and wear your glasses.

Do the right thing during the event :

  • Apply a sunscreen SPF 30 and higher before going out and reapply every two hours afterwards;
  • Drink often, unless there is a medical contraindication;
  • Look for shady areas outside;
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities during hot weather;
  • Look after people with limited independence and accompany them as needed;
  • Make sure you are accompanied if you are at risk of imbalances or falls and identify rest areas to avoid exhaustion and prevent them. Consider the use of a wheelchair or plan to have someone drive you to the site to avoid exhaustion;
  • Never leave a child or non-self-sufficient person alone in a vehicle;
  • Be aware of and avoid obstacles or uneven ground that could cause you to fall;
  • Be aware of symptoms of dizziness and sit down as soon as you feel the need to do so. Do not hesitate to lean on nearby solid surfaces or objects if you think a fall is imminent;
  • Identify tents and locations where first aid can be provided if needed;
  • Identify exits from the site and don't hesitate to go to a cool, shady, quiet place to rest if you feel the need to. Have someone accompany you;
  • Reduce your work pace if you are a worker, take breaks and make sure you are well hydrated during a heatwave.

What should you do if you need help or if you witness someone becoming unwell?

  • Ensure your safety and the safety of the person who is unwell. If the person is very uncomfortable, lay him or her on the ground and elevate their legs;
  • Ask someone to go to the first aid people on site for help.
     

While waiting for first aid : 

  • Place the person who has lost consciousness on their side. If they have fallen, do not attempt to lift them or place support under their head. Stay with the person to secure him or her while waiting for first aid officials;
  • Ask people to leave a clear area around the person to allow air to reach them easily;
  • Accompany the person to the first aid tent or to the arrival of first aid.

If first aid officials are not available, in the event of an emergency, you can always call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.

People who wish to obtain more information on health-related issues can contact the Info-Santé/Info-Social service at any time by dialing 811.

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