Extremely hot weather can cause serious illness or death. Heat-related illness can range from a rash or cramps to heat stroke, which is potentially fatal.
Those most at risk are people over 65 (particularly those living alone), the very young and those with a pre-existing medical condition.
You must keep cool, drink plenty of water, stay out of the sun and look after yourself and others.
Your animals can also suffer during heatwaves so remember to give them enough cool water to drink and make sure they have somewhere shady and cool to rest during high temperatures.
Here are some practical tips for days of extreme heat:
- Check on older, sick and frail people.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked car (including pets).
- Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids (Note: If your doctor normally limits your fluids or you are on fluid tablets, check with your doctor about how much to drink while the weather is hot).
- Limit or avoid alcohol.
- Stay indoors, if possible in air-conditioning, or in the shade.
- Use external blinds to shade your home.
- Take a cool shower/bath or drape wet cloths over yourself.
- Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing.
- Reduce physical activity.
The signs and symptoms of excessive heat exposure include:
For more information and alerts:
- Visit the Better Health Channel
- or download the Better Health Channel app, switch on the ‘hot weather alert’ and follow the information provided to protect yourself and loved ones during hot weather. www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/app
- Get heat health alerts here. http://www.health.vic.gov.au/chiefhealthofficer/heatalerts/index.htm
If you are concerned that someone may be suffering heat-related illness, encourage them to see their doctor or call an ambulance on 000.