ON CALL: (From left) Queensland Ambulance Service Warwick acting officer-in-charge Troy Haley, paramedic Jenny Brown, student paramedic Siobhan Kubacki and paramedic Kerrin Delaney are on the front line treating heat-related illnesses during the hot spell in Warwick.
ON CALL: (From left) Queensland Ambulance Service Warwick acting officer-in-charge Troy Haley, paramedic Jenny Brown, student paramedic Siobhan Kubacki and paramedic Kerrin Delaney are on the front line treating heat-related illnesses during the hot spell in Warwick. Elyse Wurm

Residents at risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion

HEAT-RELATED illness is hitting the Rose City, with paramedics expecting children and the elderly to be the most severely affected as hot conditions persist.

Temperatures have climbed into the mid-30s for about a week with no sign of slowing, as the mercury is set to soar up to eight degrees above average over the coming days.

Warwick Ambulance Station acting officer-in-charge Troy Haley said the main concern was dehydration.

Heat speeds up the rate of dehydration, causing symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cramps or dizziness.

"Worst case scenario, you can lose consciousness,” Mr Haley said.

The speed at which a person can become dehydrated varies, according to Mr Haley.

"It can depend on clothing. If you're wearing heavy clothing you may find you get dehydrated quicker than if you're wearing a t-shirt and shorts,” he said.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are two additional heat-related illnesses that could affect residents.

Mr Haley said illness could strike while a person was indoors or outdoors.

"It can happen inside if there's no ventilation,” he said.

"You imagine going into a room and it's 37 degrees outside. It's going to be hotter inside.”

If someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, they should be cooled down quickly with a cool shower or bath.

If they fall unconscious, call 000 immediately, put them on their side and follow the dispatcher's instructions until paramedics arrive.

Mr Haley said the hottest part of the day was between 11am-3pm.

To stay cool, it's advised to stay out of the sun during these times, wear light clothing, keep homes well-ventilated and use fans and air-conditioners.

Drinking plenty of water is also vital to help avoid dehydration.

Mr Haley urged the community to look out for each other.

"If you've got elderly neighbours, please get to know them and check on them,” he said.

The average temperature for December is 29 degrees, but today is expected to reach 36 degrees before a top of 37 on Wednesday and 35 on Thursday.



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