Dangerously hot classrooms a big concern

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The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has once again taken to Twitter to share an infographic on how overheated classrooms can make teachers, staff and students sick.

“The weather forecast suggests that many schools will be seriously overheated this week. Overheated classrooms can make workers and students sick,” Jerry DeQuetteville, deputy general secretary, ETFO, wrote on Twitter.

“This means that high humidity and temperature levels can interfere with working, learning, and health,” the website reads, adding that staff and students with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma and heart problems are more vulnerable to symptoms of heat stress.

Pregnant women are also more likely to suffer adverse effects from extreme heat.

So, what can staff and students in Mississauga and surrounding cities do to cope with extreme heat?

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The ETFO asks those affected to report health and safety concerns about heat and humidity to the school principal.

“Put your concern in writing. Request that these concerns be investigated and dealt with,” the website reads.

“School board actions in response could include for example: use of electric fans; scheduled access to cooler learning spaces; resetting ventilation system for greater efficiency; and the maintenance, service, and repair of air handling units in classrooms.”

Staff and students can also prevent heat-related sickness by drinking plenty of water and seeking out cooler spots when possible.

Excess physical exertion is to be avoided.

Last year following several days of hot weather, many parents were calling on the Ontario government to take action on the lack of air conditioning in schools across the province amid record high temperatures.

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The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) even passed a series of motions in August that called on the government to take action in elementary schools with a heat stress plan, maximum indoor temperature limits to be set and air conditioning or heat reduction systems to be installed. -CINEWS

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