Public warned of heat-stroke risk as temperatures soar

Public warned of heat-stroke risk as temperatures soar

Thousands of tourists and locals hit The Warren Beach in Rosscarbery, West Cork as temperatures reached 24C with scorching sunshine. Picture: Andy Gibson.

As a Met Éireann weather advisory remains in place for the entire country until midnight on Monday, health experts are warning the public to exercise extreme caution and watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.

A status yellow high-temperature warning for Munster and Leinster has been issued for Thursday.

Interim chief medical officer Professor Breda Smyth warned the public to take care in the sun over the coming days, adding that older people, young children, and babies are more vulnerable to the effects of the hot weather.

Prof Smyth said the public needs to be alert to the signs of heat exhaustion which can include headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, fast breathing or pulse, high temperature of 38C or above, and being very thirsty.

While usually not serious if someone can cool down within 30 minutes, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which she said should be treated as an emergency.

If you feel unwell, or you or your children display any of the above symptoms, immediately move to a cool place, rest, and hydrate," she said. 

"If needed, seek medical attention.”

The HSE has also warned people to take steps to avoid getting sunburned, which can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. UV levels will be high, especially under clear skies.

A couple sits on a bench in Rosscarbery as temperatures soared to 24C. Picture: Andy Gibson.
A couple sits on a bench in Rosscarbery as temperatures soared to 24C. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Joanna Donnelly, a meteorologist with Met Éireann, said it was particularly important that the vulnerable take precautions during the hot weather.

“We’re just not acclimatised to those sorts of temperatures here in Ireland," she told Newstalk.

There are vulnerable people in society that need that extra caution, overnight especially.”

Ms Donnelly advised people to stay hydrated, close curtains and windows throughout the day, and try to keep the temperature in the bedroom as low as possible.

Local authorities, including Cork City Council, have issued an alert to service providers to make their clients aware of the risks involved.

Cork Simon, which runs the outreach service, is providing sun cream and bottled water to all service users. It will conduct extensive outreach checks and engage with anyone rough-sleeping to try to encourage them to present to the day services and the accommodation placement service.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to soar, rising to 28C and 29C in some areas. The day will be dry, hot, and sunny with a light sea breeze.

The high temperatures are expected to hold up through to the weekend, when temperatures are once again expected to hit 29C, although some light rain showers will break up the heat on Friday and Saturday.

Rain could then become heavy on Sunday, and temperatures are expected to fall back to the average for this time of year on Monday, with rain showers being brought in by low pressure taking over.

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