Feeling hot, hot hot... stay safe during heatwave

CANCER Council is urging all Queenslanders to stay safe and SunSmart during Queensland's current heatwave, with temperatures expected to top around 40 degrees in some parts of the state.

Heatwaves are hitting Queensland unseasonably early this year, with temperatures set to reach a top of 31 degrees on the Wide Bay on Friday and Saturday, with the heat persisting at around 31 degrees into next week.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said Queenslanders must remember the dangers of scorching temperatures, and take sun protective measures when out and about.

"Where possible, people should avoid sun exposure - especially during periods of extreme heat, at the peak of the day," Ms Clift said.

"We recommend Queenslanders abide by all five sun protective recommendations - Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when out and about.

"Sunscreen or a good hat alone isn't enough - we need to make the effort to do all we can to protect ourselves in hot weather, to reduce our skin cancer risk.

"New research shows Queenslanders are being sunburned during everyday weekend activities - like gardening, doing outdoor chores or having a picnic in the park with friends.

"It's not just the beach where you may be caught out this weekend - skin damage can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes if you're outdoors without protection."

Cancer Council Queensland is warning older Queenslanders and those affected by chronic disease to take extra care in the soaring temperatures.

"Keep yourself and your family cool - stay in air-conditioning, drink as much water as possible and schedule outdoor activities later in the day, when temperatures should cool down," Ms Clift said.

"This heatwave is expected to last for a few days, and it's important that people take the necessary measures to stay as cool as possible for their overall health.

"Be aware of heat-related illness and heat stroke - warning signs may include muscle cramps and weakness, dizziness and a headache, nausea or fainting.

"Mild to moderate dehydration can also be an issue. We encourage all Queenslanders to look out for the health of friends and family around them during this time."

Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Around 3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.

Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland sun protection is required through every season.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and staying SunSmart is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.