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Keeping cool in the heatwave

Gold Coasters are urged to be on alert for heat-related illness, with the current heatwave expected to last into the weekend.

Anybody can be at risk of heat-related illness but infants, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people suffering from pre-existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable.

People who take certain medications, have alcohol or other drug problems, are disabled or have mobility problems, or people who are physically active can also be at risk.

Here’s a helpful checklist to help keep your cool:

  • Check on friends, family or neighbours who might be in the risk groups mentioned above.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re thirsty.  Your urine should be clear to light straw-colour, not dark or gold.
  • Find a cool spot, preferably in a building with air-conditioning or good air flow, and limit strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Wear light, loose cotton clothes, soak your feet in cool water or wear a wet bandana or washer around your neck.
  • Try to avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day
  • Never ever, leave children, or animals, or anyone, unattended in cars in the heat. Temperatures can rise very rapidly and can be fatal in a surprisingly short period of time.

If you suspect someone may be suffering from heat-related illness, call Triple Zero (000) immediately, lay them down in a cool spot, remove as much clothing as possible and give them 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.

Heat related illnesses can be serious or fatal.  Look out for these signs and symptoms.

  • heat rash,
  • muscle cramps,
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • seizures.

Last updated 02 Feb 2023