Health warning comes with rising temperatures

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WITH temperatures expected to reach 35C over the coming days, the operations manager for the ACT Ambulance Service, John Berry, is warning Canberrans of heat related risks. 

Temperatures are expected to sit between 34-35C until Thursday (January 14), dropping slightly to 29C over the weekend, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. 

Consistent hot days and warm nights can stop the body from being able to cool down, says Mr Berry. 

And while cooler nights are predicted to stop conditions from reaching a dangerous threshold, Mr Berry says there are still risks.

“With the high temperatures [predicted today] and Wednesday, if people are out during the middle of the day doing physical activities they can still be affected by heat stress,” he says.

Mr Berry says there is also a risk to the elderly and vulnerable, as well as people who have been drinking alcohol. 

To avoid heat-related illnesses, Mr Berry suggests organising activities during the cooler hours of the morning and evening.

Signs of heat stress might include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, or if they are really sick, a lack of sweat, as well as unconsciousness, Mr Berry says. 

If someone is out in the sun and does exhibit symptoms of heat stress, Mr Berry says: “Try and get them into the shade, cool them down and give them some water if you can and call triple zero.”

Similar advice has also come from the Australian Red Cross, urging Australians to be prepared for the heatwave that will affect parts of the country over the coming days.

“Keep cool, hydrated and know how to recognise the signs of heat-stroke,” says Red Cross regional area lead, Janie McCullagh.

“Heat stroke can be life-threatening,” Ms McCullagh says, and “knowing how to respond can be critical. The confidence to know what to do in a first aid emergency can make the difference between a positive outcome and a tragedy.”

The Red Cross free “First Aid App” can be used to guide people through the signs, symptoms and responses for heat-stroke and many other first aid emergencies, they say.

Tips include drinking regularly, eating little and often, as well as staying indoors and maximising airflow.

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