Mid Cantabrians are being urged to keep cool and hydrated during a stretch of sweltering temperatures forecast for the region during the first half of this week.
Hot weather is forecast for today through to Wednesday, with MetService predicting maximum temperatures of 29 degrees today, a scorching 36 degrees on Tuesday and 32 on Wednesday.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink says while we may welcome a run of hot weather, overheating is a condition than can prove fatal.
“It’s especially important to stay out of the sun where possible, avoid extreme physical exertion and ensure pets and people are not left alone in stationary cars.
“While we are all vulnerable to hot temperatures, some people are particularly at risk. This includes the elderly, infants and children, women who are pregnant, people suffering from chronic, acute and severe illness,” Dr Pink said.
He said people should avoid going outside during the hottest time of the day, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, and wear light clothes and a hat. Stay in the shade where possible.
Dr Pink said people whose work involved strenuous physical activity outdoors should be particularly vigilant to avoid overheating in hot weather.
“It’s important people exposed to hot weather for long periods of time carry water with them and sip at least half a litre an hour, allow for more breaks in the shade, reapply sunscreen every two hours and schedule the hardest work in the coolest part of the day.
“As well as being SunSmart (Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap) if you have to go outside, everyone is advised to keep their houses cool by closing curtains on windows getting direct sun, opening windows to get a breeze if it’s cooler out than in, and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps,” he said.
If it’s not possible to keep your home cool, you should look to spend a few hours of the day in a cool place, such as an air-conditioned public building (e.g. a mall or library).
If you feel dizzy, weak or have an intense thirst or headache you may be dehydrated. Drink some water and rest in a cool place.