Superintendent Darryl Johnson, District Officer of the Sunshine Coast Police District is joining health services with a warning to local residents and tourists to take extra care over the next few days with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicting heatwave conditions over much of the Southeast Coast with temperatures expected to rise two to seven degrees above the January average.
Health authorities say hot weather can bring on heat-related health issues requiring urgent medical attention. With young children and older people most commonly affected, now is a perfect opportunity to check on neighbours and encourage them to keep cool and stay out of the heat.
Motorists are also being reminded not to leave children or pets in their cars as temperatures can become fatal.
Preparing for a heat wave:
- Check air-conditioning in your home. Has it been serviced and is it working effectively?
- Ensure you have an enough food, water, medicines and toiletries to avoid going out in the heat.
- Store foods and medicines at a safe temperature.
- Consider your options if the heat wave causes a loss of electricity or disrupts public transport.
- Ensure you have a torch, fully charged mobile phone or a telephone that will work without electricity, a battery-operated radio and sufficient batteries.
- Find ways to make your home cooler such as installing awnings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun. Dark metal shutters and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer and should be avoided. The use of pale curtains or reflective materials is better.
Coping during prolonged heat:
- Keep hydrated by drinking water regularly during the day. This generally means drinking two to three litres of water a day, depending on heat, humidity and your physical activity.
- If your doctor normally restricts your fluid intake, check how much to drink during hot weather.
- Avoid drinks with high levels of sugar, caffeine and alcohol and very cold drinks.
- Eat smaller cool meals, such as salads. Do not take additional salt tablets unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Keep yourself cool. Use wet towels or scarves, put your feet in cool water or take cool (not cold) showers. Stay indoors in cool or air-conditioned facilities – either at home or at local shopping centres, libraries and cinemas.
- Close curtains and blinds, and open windows (if there is a cool breeze blowing) to reduce heat entering your home.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you can't avoid outdoor activities don't go out in the hottest part of the day, stay in the shade, drink plenty of water and wear a hat and light coloured, loose fitting clothing. Ensure infants and children do too.
- Do not leave children, adults or animals in parked vehicles, even for a short period of time.
- Keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives to ensure that they are coping with the heat wave conditions.
- Watch or listen to news reports for information about the heat event or heat wave.
For support during a heat event or a heatwave:
- Call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) any time.
- Contact your doctor, hospital or health clinic.
- In emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)
Further information on BOM’s heatwave service is available here.