Drink more water
Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Keep a full drink bottle with you.
Take small sips of water frequently.
If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much you should drink during hot weather.
Never leave anyone in a car
Never leave children, adults or pets in cars – the temperature can double in minutes.
Stay somewhere cool
Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings (shopping centres, libraries, cinemas or community centres).
Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
Block out the sun at home during the day by closing curtains and blinds.
Open the windows when there is a cool breeze.fan
Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen.
Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
Avoid intense activity like exercise, renovating and gardening.
Watch or listen to news reports for more information.
Don’t forget your pets – a cool bath, wet towel to lie on, a place next to a fan and plenty of fresh water work just as well for animals.
Keep up to date with weather forecasts – watch the news daily, check the BOM forecast online or set up an alert on your Better Health Channel app
Schedule activities for the coolest part of the day.
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 medicines during extreme heat.
Store medicines safely at the recommended temperature.
Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well. Have your air-conditioner serviced if necessary.
Prepare for power failures – ensure you have a torch, battery-operated radio, fully charged mobile phone, food items that don’t require refrigeration, medications, plenty of drinking water and other essential items.
Look at the things you can do to make your home cooler such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.
Check in on others
Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition, and don’t forget your pets.
Keep in touch with friends and family who may need help. Call or visit them at least once on any extreme heat day.
Encourage them to drink plenty of water.
Offer to help family, friends and neighbours who are aged over 65 or have an illness by doing shopping or other errands so they can avoid the heat.
Take them somewhere cool for the day or have them stay the night if they are unable to stay cool in their home.
If you observe symptoms of heat-related illness, seek medical help.
Symptoms of heat-related illness
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of heat exposure and how you should respond. Symptoms vary according to the type of heat-related illness. Babies and young children may show signs of restlessness or irritability and have fewer wet nappies. Older people may become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint.
Some heat-related illness and common symptoms include:
Deterioration in existing medical conditions – this is the most common health problem of heat stress.
Heat rash – sometimes called ‘prickly heat’, this is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating. It can occur at any age, but is most common in young children. It looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is most likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts and in the elbow creases.
Heat cramps – these include muscle pains or spasms, usually in the abdomen, arms or legs. They may occur after strenuous activity in a hot environment, when the body gets depleted of salt and water. They may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.
Dizziness and fainting – heat-related dizziness and fainting results from reduced blood flow to the brain. Heat causes an increase in blood flow to the skin and pooling of blood in the legs, which can lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure. There can be a feeling of light-headedness before fainting occurs.
Heat exhaustion – this is a serious condition that can develop into heatstroke. It occurs when excessive sweating in a hot environment reduces the blood volume. Warning signs may include paleness and sweating, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps (usually in the abdomen, arms or legs), headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness or fainting.
Heatstroke – this is a medical emergency and requires urgent attention. Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40.5 °C and the body’s internal systems start to shut down. Many organs in the body suffer damage and the body temperature must be reduced quickly. Most people will have profound central nervous system changes such as delirium, coma and seizures. The person may stagger, appear confused, have a fit or collapse and become unconscious. As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be liver, kidney, muscle and heart damage.
The symptoms of heatstroke may be the same as for heat exhaustion, but the skin may be dry with no sweating and the person’s mental condition worsens.
Please contact Central Clinic if you would like further information
Warragul 56 22 3377 | Drouin 56 25 5044