During the height of summer many members of the community, especially the young, elderly and those with a chronic illness, become more vulnerable to HEAT STRESS as a result of hot weather.
The ACT Ambulance Service encourages all Canberrans and visitors to the national capital to take note of the following tips to avoid HEAT STRESS:
- Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of cool fluids, preferably water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink;
- Avoid drinking alcohol, tea and coffee because this will cause dehydration;
- Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing where possible. Don’t overdress;
- NEVER leave children alone in a car even for a very short time. The inside temperature can become life-threatening within MINUTES;
- Avoid any strenuous outdoor activities, especially when the sun is strongest between the hours of 11.00am and 3.00pm;
- If outside make sure you always wear a shirt and hat – even if you are swimming; and
- Use plenty of sun screen when outside and reapply regularly.
Symptoms of HEAT STRESS to watch out for include:
- Feeling faint;
- Loss of appetite;
- Headache; and
If you come across someone with the above symptoms of HEAT STRESS during hot weather take the following actions:
- Try to get the person to a cooler environment;
- Lay the person down;
- Cool them by applying cool, wet towels around the neck and underarms; and
- If conscious, give cool fluids (preferably water) to drink.
CRITICAL – DROWSINESS / UNCONSCIOUSNESS AND HOT DRY SKIN ARE DEFINITE INDICATORS OF HEAT STROKE. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY. YOU SHOULD RING EMERGENCY 000 IMMEDIATELY AND ASK FOR AN AMBULANCE.