With hot weather taking hold across large parts of the country and expected to continue into the weekend, the Australian College of Nursing is calling on people to take precautions to protect their health.
“Heat can really impact on a person if they do not take care. We ask people to be sensible in these soaring temperatures,” Australian College of Nursing CEO, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said.
“For example, if you plan to be active over the weekend, try and do so early or late in the day. If you have to play sport, make sure you slip, slop, slap.
“Everyone needs to stay hydrated to combat the effects of heat, and this is particularly important if you are exercising.
“If you can, stay indoors in air conditioning or with fans running, please do so as much as possible. Keep blinds and curtains closed.”
At particular risk during extended periods of high temperatures are people over 65, particularly those with chronic conditions that make them more vulnerable to heat stress.
“Please check in regularly with your family and neighbours, especially if they are elderly or young,” Adjunct Professor Ward encouraged. “If they seem to be feeling the impact of the hot weather, do not hesitate to seek medical help.
“Aged care nurses and school nurses will be closely watching those in their care for signs of heat stress. In residential aged care, the nursing staff will be key in ensuring residents receive the help they need to comfortably get through this heatwave.”
Some medications increase the potential for a person to suffer from heat stress. These include beta blockers, diuretics and antidepressants.
“If you have questions about your medication and heat or are feeling unwell over the coming days speak to your nurse or seek medical assistance from another health care professional.”