Gulf and Peninsula News

Northerners urged to prepare for heat wave

Health authorities are warning Queenslanders to be on alert, as extreme heat conditions sweep the state.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young is urging people to be prepared, pay attention to their health, and look out for neighbours and loved ones.

“We have a heatwave gripping large parts of the state,” Dr Young said.

“Experts have advised severe heatwave conditions across the central and south-eastern interior of the state over the next couple of days.

“Today is expected to bring extreme temperatures across the south-east corner.

“I urge all Queenslanders to listen to weather reports, check websites and social media pages for the state’s health and emergency authorities, and be prepared.”

Dr Young is urging people to take precautions against dehydration and other heat-related conditions.

“Drink plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re thirsty,” she said.

“Stay indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air-conditioning or good air flow, and limit strenuous outdoor activity.

“People should continue to use common sense. If there are extreme temperatures in your region you should reduce the amount of strenuous activity you are undertaking outside.

“Importantly, be very conscious of children and ensure no one is left inside a hot vehicle. On a hot day, the temperature inside a parked car is much hotter than it is outside.

“Stay cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck.

“Always check the colour of your urine to ensure you are well-hydrated – it should be clear to light straw-coloured, not dark or gold.”

Dr Young said anybody can be at risk of heat-related illness but infants, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with some pre-existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable.

“Be alert to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses which can range from heat rash, muscle cramps, and heavy sweating, to paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fainting.

“If you suspect someone may be suffering from heat-related illness, call Triple Zero (000) immediately, lay the person down in a cool spot, remove as much clothing as possible and give the person water to drink if they are able to swallow.

“If possible, get them into a cold shower or bath, or cover them with a wet sheet to help cool them down.”

Dr Young also urged people to avoid touching bats that may be impacted by the heat.

“I’d urge people to be extra careful and avoid touching or picking up bats,” she said.

“We know bats are being impacted by the heat. If you see a bat on the ground, don’t touch it even if you think it’s dead. Instead, contact your local RSPCA or wildlife organisations who have people trained to handle bats.”

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