Gladstone Central State School student Lachlan Jones, 9, cools off under a drink bottle yesterday.
Gladstone Central State School student Lachlan Jones, 9, cools off under a drink bottle yesterday.

Lachlan swelters in summer heat

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

LACHLAN Jones sweated it out at the Gladstone Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) yesterday afternoon, but he was one of the lucky ones.

Lachlan's Mum, Kerry, said while the hot temperatures made it uncomfortable for kids at school, Lachlan and brother Nicholas attended Gladstone Central State School, which has air-conditioned classrooms.

'I think the kids are better off at school, because they're in the air-conditioning, but when they're out in the sun all day it takes a lot out of them and they have to remember to drink plenty of water,' she said.

As the mercury soared, reaching 33 degrees Celsius in the city centre yesterday, doctors warned residents to stay cool and seek air-conditioning where possible.

Education Queensland also released a statement, saying children could stay at home if it was too hot, but that schools would remain open. Gladstone residents are set to swelter for the rest of the week , with temperatures in the mid-30s and high humidity expected.

Rockhampton Weather Bureau forecaster Murray Porteous said there would be 'no great change' in temperatures this week, with little relief predicted for the weekend.

'We're not anticipating any decreases in the maximum temperatures for the week, with highs between 32 and 34 degrees Celsius, and for the weekend there might be just a touch of difference,' he said.

Mr Porteous said today's temperature would reach 34 degrees Celsius, remaining constant throughout the week.

He said high humidity also meant residents were suffering uncomfortable conditions, particularly at night and in the early hours of the morning when humidity reached between 90 and 95 per cent.

'The humidity will gradually drop throughout the day, with the coolest times being in the late afternoon when it'll drop to around 50-55 per cent,' he said.

So far the hottest day this year was on January 29, when the mercury reached 36.4 degrees Celsius.

'Gladstone residents are faring better than those inland, with temperatures in Biloela around the 36-37 degree mark this week, so the closer people are to the coast, the better their chances of catching some sea breezes,' he said.

With the hot February temperatures, Gladstone doctors are also reminding people to stay cool.

Australian Medical Association Gladstone representative Dr John Bird said the elderly and very young were most at risk of heat stress.

'People working outdoors and those doing vigorous exercise are also at risk of overheating, so it's important they pay attention to their bodies and drink a variety of cool drinks,' he said.

Dr Bird said the high humidity impeded a person's ability to sweat, which could result in heat stress.

He said people had to show commonsense and if symptoms of heat stress, which included dizziness, confusion and nausea, continued to contact a doctor.



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