South Australia swelters under extreme heat

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Doctors for the Environment

 

With South Australia sweltering in 40-plus degree temperatures today, Doctors for the Environment Australia’s Executive Director, Adelaide-based GP Dr Kate Wylie, said people need to recognise that heat is a serious health hazard.

Dr Wylie encourages people to drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and wear loose light coloured clothing. Seek out the shade if you must go out, but avoid going out in the heat of the day if you can.

Dr Wylie encourages people to use air conditioning or fans, remembering that fans are cheaper to run, have less emissions and reduce room temperature by about 4℃.

“If your house is too hot, you can seek out cool public places like libraries, community or shopping centres,” she said.

The mercury in central Adelaide will climb to 41 degrees, while the northern suburbs are expected to reach 42 degrees, and some regional areas will swelter as the temperature reaches as much as 47 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe heatwave conditions over northern and central parts of the state, reaching up to extreme heatwave conditions over the Northwest Pastoral district.

Dr Wylie said many people are impacted differently by heatwaves.

“Hot temperatures increase our risk of heat related illness like heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat waves increase our risk of heart attacks, strokes and renal disease, they also exacerbate mental illness,” she said.

The Red Cross completed a survey last year which showed only 10 per cent of Australians were taking steps to actively prepare for severe heat waves.

Dr Wylie said every step we take that cuts pollution helps secure a safer future for Australia’s population and our native fauna and flora.

 

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