The risks of heat and when to worry

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WITH summer underway, Canberra paramedics are warning the community of heat-related risks, even when temperatures are below 30C. 

Between mid-20C and 30C, the affects of heat can cause stress which can lead to heat stroke and even hospitalisation if unchecked, especially in the elderly or vulnerable members of the community, says ACT paramedic Sam Perillo.

“People should be cautious on any reasonably warm day,” Mr Perillo says. 

“We ask people to be watchful of anyone considered vulnerable; children, elderly, anyone pregnant or with a chronic health condition.

“Keep any eye on them. Especially elderly neighbours. Make sure that they are well and staying cool, drinking water and avoiding being in hot conditions.”

And, if someone does start to experience heat stress, a precursor to even worse conditions may include headaches, dizziness, faintness, nausea, and vomiting, Mr Perillo says, and advises to take them to the shade and allow them to rest.

“Take off any excess layers of clothing and give them liquids, especially water,” he says.

“If they’re still not feeling well after a little while, seek medical assistance: whether to the general practitioner or the walk in clinic. If it’s serious, call 000.”

Avoiding unnecessary activity during peak periods of the day can be a good way to try to stay safe, too, according to Mr Perillo who says that paramedics are asking Canberrans to simply be more wary of what they are doing and for how long in the sun this summer.

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