27 December 2018

How to beat the holiday heat as temperatures soar

| Ian Bushnell
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Some simple measures can take the sting out of the holiday heat.

A health warning has been issued with heat-wave conditions forecast in Canberra for the rest of the week.

The weather bureau is forecasting seven days of maximum temperatures 34 degrees or over, with today tipped to be 37, Friday 38 and Saturday 39.

It is forecast to slip back slightly to 37 on Sunday, 34 on Monday and 35 on Tuesday.

ACT Health is urging Canberrans and visitors to the national capital to take precautions to beat the heat, reminding them of some simple ways to find relief.

People are encouraged to follow some simple summer safety tips to avoid heat-related stress and illness. This is particularly important over the holidays, with people outdoors more and celebrating with friends and family.

Summer safety tips:

  • Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water, especially when drinking alcohol and caffeine as they can make dehydration worse.
  • Plan your day around the heat – avoid being outdoors between 11 am and 3 pm and seek shade when outside.
  • Soak – take a cool shower or bath to help you cool down.
  • Be cool – stay indoors and make use of fans or air-conditioners.
  • Rest – make sure you get enough sleep, and rest if you feel tired.
  • Eat fresh – try eating cold foods such as salads or fruit.
  • Check on others – this includes children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with medical conditions and don’t forget your pets!
  • Dress down – wear light weight clothing and be sun-smart.
  • Watch Out – be on the lookout for any symptoms of heat related illness and see your GP if you feel unwell. In an emergency call Emergency Triple Zero (E000).

People should also keep a check on those most at risk of heat-related illness. This includes the elderly, young children and babies, those with illness and chronic medical conditions and pregnant women.

If someone is experiencing symptoms of heat stress during hot weather, take the following actions:

  • Try to get the person to a cooler environment.
  • Lay the person down.
  • Cool them by applying cool, wet towels around the neck and underarms.
  • If conscious, give cool fluids (preferably water) to drink.

People with these symptoms should also be assisted to seek medical attention through their GP or in an emergency by calling 000 for an ambulance.

For more information on summer safety and preventing heat-related illness, visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/summer-safety

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