With temperatures set to soar in the ACT this weekend, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly and Acting Chief Officer ACT Ambulance Service Mr Howard Wren, urged Canberrans planning to attend outdoor events or playing sport to take precautions to protect themselves against the extreme heat.
"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," Dr Kelly said.
"If you're attending outdoor events or playing sport this weekend take adequate precautions to limit the impact of the hot weather. We would encourage coaches, trainers and first aid offices to ensure participants have access to adequate amounts of water and to keep a look out for any signs of heat stress that may show during the event.
"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. Non-essential recreational activity, in the heat of the day, should also be reconsidered.
"With the start of the school year next week, parents and students are also encouraged to take simple precautions to prepare for these hot conditions. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle, wear a hat and during breaks keep in shaded areas or inside.
"It's also important to have appropriate food for hot weather, and lunches could be kept cool with an insulated food container and a frozen drink or freezer brick," Dr Kelly said.
"We should stay in touch with our elderly and frail relatives and neighbours, and pay special attention to the health needs of babies, young children, pregnant women and those with disabilities and chronic illness.
"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," Dr Kelly concluded.
For more information preventing heat-related illnesses at outdoor events and at school, 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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