December 28, 2018

Today’s Hot News

With the temperature expected to rise upwards of  34 degrees today, here’s some sobering facts about heatwaves, described as ‘nature’s silent killer’ and tips on how to stay well in extreme heat.

Heatwaves have three levels of intensity-low, severe and extreme. ‘Severe’ can affect vulnerable individuals, but ‘extreme’ can affect even the young and healthy.

They are the most lethal weather phenomenon with greater fatality than avalanches and earthquakes worldwide. Here in Australia they are responsible for 55% of all natural disaster related deaths. (Source:

How to beat the heat

Stay hydrated:

  • Keep those fluids up! Even if you don’t feel thirsty, have a drink bottle with you at all times to ensure you’re drinking plenty of water.

Stay cool:

  • Seek out air-conditioned buildings, keep blinds closed, take cool showers, and wear loose clothing made from natural, breathable fibres like cotton.

Stay out of hot cars:

  • Hot cars can kill! Never leave children, older people and pets in cars. Within minutes, the temperature inside a parked car can double.

Stay smart:

  • Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you do have to go outside, remember to slip, slop, slap on the sunscreen and seek shade.
  • Avoid exercising in the heat and activities like renovating and gardening.
  • Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
  • Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
  • Watch or listen to news reports to find out more information during extreme heat.

Stay connected:

  • Look out for each other – patients, staff, volunteers and community members.
  • Check in on those most at risk in the heat – older people, pets and our patients.

Northern Health Acting Director of Emergency Department, Dr Dean Pritchard, says that care must be taken by staff and patients to avoid prolonged exposure to heat during summer, particularly when combined with strenuous activity.

“We must also be mindful of our elderly family and neighbours, who may not have access to air-conditioning. Conditions as simple as sunburn, and as serious as heat stroke, can be prevented by avoiding exposure and exertion during the hottest times of day.”  he adds.