19 June 2020

Canberrans and visitors to the national capital are being warned of extreme heat conditions forecast for the ACT today and the increased risk of heat-related stress and illness

| My Gungahlin
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The extreme heat conditions are forecast for Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January 2019 with temperatures up to 40 degrees.

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman and ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Howard Wren have encouraged Canberrans to enjoy Australia Day celebrations safely by knowing how to avoid heat-related stress.

“It’s important for the community to be aware of the risks associated with prolonged periods of hot weather, in particular those in our community that are more vulnerable,” Dr Coleman said.

“Everyone can be susceptible to heat-related stress and illness in the heat, that’s why people need to stay hydrated and stay cool. This is particularly for the elderly, pregnant women, young children and babies who are most at risk.

“Summer safety tips to beat the heat are on the ACT Health website, which we encourage people to hop online and check them out.”

ACT Ambulance Service Chief Officer Howard Wren said people will need take extra precautions when enjoying the outdoors during Australia Day celebrations.

“It’s particularly important people seek shade during the hottest parts of the day, drink plenty of water and limit their alcohol consumption,” Mr Wren said.

“If you come across someone with symptoms of heat stress during hot weather, you can 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.

“People with these symptoms should also be assisted to seek medical attention through their GP or in an emergency by calling triple zero (000) for an ambulance,” Mr Wren said.

Dr Coleman said with many people out and about this weekend at BBQs and other celebrations, we are also reminding Canberrans to be food-safe to minimise the risk of someone getting sick.

“During the heat, especially when eating outdoors, it is easier for food to spoil quicker.

“That’s why proper handling of food is really important. This includes storing cold food under 5°C and hot food above 60°C and not keeping perishables, such as salads, quiches and cold meats out of the fridge for longer than four hours.”

For more information on summer safety and preventing heat-related illness, visit: https://www.health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/population-health/summer-safety

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