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Temperature forecast for Saturday. Image: Bureau of Meteorology website.

ACN issues reminder to be vigilant during high temperatures

Maps of the temperature forecast for the next two days have been likened to a portal to hell online but the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is hoping Australians don’t forgot the very real dangers of extreme heat.

With Bureau of Meteorology forecasts indicating New South Wales may experience its hottest February day on record tomorrow and that temperatures will reach the mid-40s in many inland areas and high 30s along the coast for the next two days, the College is asking people to be sensible.

Some suggestions included for those who plan to be active, to do so early or late in the day and use sun protection, and for people to remain hydrated and stay indoors with air conditioning or fans running and blinds and curtains closed when possible.

ACN warned that 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.

Adjunct professor Kylie Ward, chief executive of ACN, encouraged people to check in regularly with family and neighbours, especially those who are elderly or young. “If they seem to be feeling the impact of the hot weather, do not hesitate to seek medical help,” Ward said.

Aged care nurses and school nurses will be closely watching those in their care for signs of heat stress, Ward added. “In residential aged care, the nursing staff will be key in ensuring residents receive the help they need to comfortably get through this heatwave.”

The College also took the weather forecast as an opportunity to remind people 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 healthcare professional,” Ward said.

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