Heatwave Conditions Again Forecast for the ACT 07.02.14

Released 07/02/2014

With another prolonged hot spell on the way for the ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly and ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Mr David Foot once again urged Canberrans to not become complacent to the health risks of extreme heat, and to take precautions to protect themselves against the hot conditions expected next week.

Dr Kelly said keeping cool and hydrated is the key to staying safe and healthy.  "Spending long periods in the sun without taking the proper precautions can lead to heat illness and heat stress."

"If you're attending outdoor events such as the National Multicultural Festival this weekend take adequate precautions to limit the impact of the hot weather.  Take plenty of water and limit the amount of coffee and drinks containing caffeine or alcohol as these can have a dehydrating effect. Carry a temporary source of shade and shelter out of the sun in shaded areas frequently.  Remember to cover up to protect yourself from the sun and apply lots of sunscreen," the Chief Health Officer said.

"For those playing sport this weekend we would encourage coaches, trainers and first aid officers to ensure participants have access to adequate amounts of water and to be vigilant for any signs of heat stress or illness in participants or spectators," Mr Foot said.

Dr Kelly and Mr Foot again reminded Canberrans to check on elderly and frail relatives and neighbours regularly, and pay special attention to the health needs of babies, young children, pregnant women and those with disabilities and chronic illness.  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 quickly cause serious illness or even death.

"Most importantly people displaying the symptoms of heat exhaustion including nausea, dizziness, fainting, weakness, headaches, vomiting and loss of sweating should be assisted to seek urgent medical attention by calling triple zero (000) for an ambulance," Mr Foot said.

For more information preventing heat-related illnesses visit: http://health.act.gov.au/publications-reports/fact-sheets/avoiding-heat-related-stress.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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