Health boss warns Rocky to stay safe during sweltering heat

13th January 2018 10:37 AM
Rockhampton is in for a hot weekend, with temperatures nearing 40 degrees. Rockhampton is in for a hot weekend, with temperatures nearing 40 degrees. Weather Zone

HEALTH bosses fear for the well being of those classified as 'high risk' as temperatures across Central Queensland soar into the 40s.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting Rockhampton to reach a maximum of 39 degrees tomorrow and 37 degrees today.

It will feel even hotter however, with humidity levels set to be higher than normal.

Emerald will be copping one of the highest heat strokes in Central Queensland, with today reaching 38 degrees and tomorrow's maximum climbing to 40.

The clinical director of the Queensland Ambulance service Tony Hucker urged Central Queenslanders to be careful during these hot days.

"People need to try and avoid the hottest part of the day, keep their fluids up, wear loose-fitting clothing and keep an eye out for the old folks and babies because they're the high-risk groups on hot days,” said Mr Hucker.

"They sometimes can't look after themselves like we can.

"It's really straightforward. It's about planning your day, making sure you have lots of water around.”

The best way to stay safe during the sweltering heat is to wear a hat and loose-fitting clothing, take plenty of breaks when outside (particularly during the hottest part of the day), and drinking plenty of water.

Mr Hucker said heat-related illness can "sneak up on you” and people should be aware of what to look out for.

"You might just be a bit fatigued, hot and dry and headache-y,” he said.

"They're the early signs you need to take a break, go and sit down, have a drink and get in a nice air-conditioned environment.

"You might notice someone who is just behaving normally on a work site on a hot day and you need to go and tap them on the shoulder and say 'let's get you under cover, get you cooled down and get you drinking some water'.”

One of the biggest culprits of dehydration during hot weather is alcohol.

"Alcohol makes things worse. You really want to stay away from alcohol,” he said.

"The best medicine for heat-related syndromes is water, water, water.”

Mr Hucker said emergency services have seen an increase in Queenslanders having "near-drowning experiences and getting into strife in the waterways”.

"Be really careful. Keep an eye on your friends and on your kids whenever you're going near a waterway,” Mr Hucker said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Annabelle Ford said the reason for the increased humidity this weekend is warm winds and a higher than normal dew point.

"We've got quite a warm immersion over inland Queensland at the moment and then over the weekend what happens is there's a trough approaching from the south west and what that does is drag the warm wind from inland to the coast instead of getting the coast breeze which is what we normally get,” Ms Ford said.

Rockhampton can expect to cool down on Monday, with the maximum dropping to 33 degrees.

"There's the potential for a few showers and possibly a thunderstorm, which will bring the temperatures down,” Ms Ford said.