January 6, 2023

Survive the Heat this Summer

Summer is finally here, and even though Melbourne weather is typically unreliable, when it’s hot- it’s hot.

Knowing the potential risks and how to best survive the heat is important. Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion, leading to the potentially life-threating condition of heatstroke. Older people, young children and people with a medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, are most at risk.

How to cope with the heat?

Doctors recommendations are to drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool showers, spend as much time as possible in cool air-conditioned buildings (shopping centres, libraries, cinemas or community centres), stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day and wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

In addition, keep in touch with sick or frail friends and family and check on your elderly neighbors on any extreme heat day.

Remember to also avoid heavy activity like sport, renovating or gardening and to never leave kids, adults or pets in hot cars.  Always seek medical help in case of a serious heat-related illness.

Prepare for extreme heat  

Here are some tips on how to best prepare for extreme heat:

  • Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t have to go out in the heat. Visit your doctor to check if changes are needed to your medication during extreme heat.
  • Store medication safely at the recommended temperature.
  • Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well.
  • Look at the things you can do to make your home cooler such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds on the side of the house facing the sun.

Should you decide to cool down by going to the beach or the pool, always remember to play it safe by the water. This means learn how to swim and never swim alone, know your limits, stay hydrated, learn some CPR (first aid) and always supervise children around water.

For more information on how to survive the heat, visit: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer!