Canberrans urged to stay cool on Friday

ACT Health is reminding Canberrans to protect themselves from the heat in preparation for tomorrow’s (January 13) high temperature forecast. 

Cartoon by PAUL DORIN

ACT chief health officer Dr Paul Kelly says, on hot days like Friday, it is also important to look out for your elderly and frail relatives and neighbours, and pay special attention to the health needs of babies and young children who can be adversely affected by the heat.

“There are many health risks associated with heat related illness, which can range from mild to very serious. People with illness and chronic medical conditions and pregnant women may also need extra monitoring and care during hot weather,” says Dr Kelly.

Simple tips to help cope with the heat include:

·        drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated and avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine that can increase dehydration; 

·        keep as cool as possible by wearing light, loose, comfortable clothing;

·        stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day. Screen your windows from direct sunlight and utilise air-conditioning if available;

·        avoid outdoor exercise or strenuous physical activity, especially in the hottest parts of the day. If you choose to exercise do so early in morning before the temperature climbs;

·        when outdoors always protect yourself from sunburn by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen; and

·        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.

Information on heat-related illness and staying safe this summer, via:http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/population-health/summer-safety/your-guide-to-summer-safety.

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