Durban - Take care of the elderly, children and animals, paramedics warned yesterday as the SA Weather Service forecast sweltering conditions over much of the country this weekend.
Forecaster Edwin Thema said there would be scorching temperatures with little chance of rain until tomorrow or Monday.
“On average, January is the hottest month in summer. Durban has experienced the highest temperatures of 30ºC and 32ºC with the added humidity,” said a weather forecaster at the SA Weather Service, Wisani Maluleke.
Netcare 911 media liaison, Santi Steinmann, said children and pets should not be left unattended in vehicles. “It is very dangerous as temperatures escalate faster in vehicles,” said Steinmann.
“Call the police emergency services but also try to get the child out of the car.”
Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi said:
“In rescuing a child or pet locked in a parked car, officers are entitled to use all reasonable means including breaking someone’s car window.”
Head of operations of South African Paramedic Services, Shannon Kain, said about four emergencies experienced so far were elated to the elderly.
“We’ve had incidents where the heat triggers other conditions.”
Kgolo Mahlangu, a forecaster at the Durban Weather Office said: “
Today in Durban temperatures will peak at 26ºC, with a 60 percent chance of showers. Pietermaritzburg will be higher at 29ºC.
Tomorrow Durban will have a high of 27ºC.”
Johannesburg emergency management services spokesman Synock Matobako said:
“Drink lots of water... and stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm.”
Parents should dress their children in light clothing and make sure they are well protected against sunburn.
National Council of SPCAs spokeswoman Christine Kuch said:
“If anybody sees an animal in a vehicle, immediately report it to security.”
She said in addition to shade, pets needed plenty of water during a heatwave. People owning pets with thick fur should seek advice from their vets on special precautions they needed to take.