Extreme Heat Warning for Canberra 13.01.14

Released 13/01/2014

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly and ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Mr David Foot today warned Canberrans that prolonged extreme heat conditions are forecast for the ACT this week from Tuesday 14 January until Saturday 18 January.

"We are all susceptible to heat-related stress and illness, which can range from mild to very serious. However, the elderly, young children and babies are most at risk during extreme heat events," Dr Kelly said.

"People with illness and chronic conditions and pregnant women may also need extra monitoring and care during hot weather. It's important for these people to continue with their usual medications and see their General Practitioner if they require a medical review.

"Simple tips to help cope with the heat include:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated and avoid alcohol or caffeine drinks that can increase dehydration;
  • Keep as cool as possible by wearing light, loose, comfortable clothing;
  • Protect yourself from sunburn by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen;
  • Keep out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and preferably stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment;
  • Avoid outdoor exercise or strenuous physical activity, especially in the middle of the day;
  • Never leave children or animals in an unattended car. The temperature inside a car can soar rapidly within a few minutes.  Heat generated in a closed car can cause serious illness or even death.

"We should also make regular checks on family members, friends and neighbours this week for symptoms of heat exhaustion including nausea, dizziness, fainting, weakness, headaches, vomiting and loss of sweating.

"People with these symptoms should be assisted to seek urgent medical attention by calling triple zero (000) for an ambulance," Dr Kelly concluded.

For more information about preventing heat-related illness, visit: http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/population-health/summer-safety/your-guide-to-summer-safety.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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