How to stay cool during the heatwave



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COOL AS: Doctor Richard Gair has tips for people to stay cool in extreme weather. Image: Supplied.

With temperatures continuing to rise in the Far North health authorities have issued a warning for people to take precautions against heat-related illness.

The Douglas Shire is expected to experience severe to extreme heatwave conditions over the next few days with the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures climbing into the high 30s.

Director of Tropical Public Health Service Doctor Richard Gair said people should exercise caution over the coming days, particularly when out in the sun.

“Last Summer, there were 40 heat-related presentations to hospitals across the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.

“People should be alert to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, including heat rash, muscle cramps, heavy sweating, paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fainting,” Dr Gair said.

The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service recommend that in hot weather the following precautions should be taken:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re thirsty
  • Staying indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air-conditioning or good air flow
  • Limiting strenuous outdoor activity and taking time to adjust to the temperature
  • Staying cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck, and
  • Checking the colour of your urine to ensure you are well-hydrated – it should be clear to light straw-coloured, not dark or gold.

“If you experience symptoms including an extremely high body temperature, flushed dry skin, a rapid pulse, headache or disorientation, you may have heat stroke, which can be extremely serious,” Dr Gair said.

“Emergency treatment should be sought as soon as symptoms of heat stroke become evident.”

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