With heat waves on the horizon and temperatures set to soar sky high across Australia it’s essential that you know how to keep you and your family safe this summer.
Heatwaves can have a damaging impact on communities and can affect many parts of everyday life such as health and well-being, they are considered the most underrated of natural disasters and have caused the greatest loss of life over any other natural hazard here in Australia. Whilst everyone including your pets are at risk of serious harm during a heatwave, children and elderly in particular are at a greater risk. For information on how to keep you and your family safe during times of extreme heat, read our top tips below.
Stay Hydrated - Drinking plenty of water is the best way to avoid heat related injury, even if you don’t feel thirsty, keeping fluids up will prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Stick to cool drinks and avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as these may worsen the effects of dehydration.
Check on others - Call or visit elderly family members, neighbours and friends. Check that they have plenty of cool water and encourage them to drink it often. Children should also be reminded to drink water regularly and pets should have plenty of water and shade.
Make use of aircon - If you, your friend, family member or neighbour does not have air conditioning in their home you may want to take them and your family to a public facility that does, such as a shopping center, library or pool. Remember, NEVER leave anyone alone in the car including pets despite there being air conditioning.
Dress for Summer and stay protected - Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton to keep you cool as well as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face, neck, shoulders and eyes. Keep shirts on and wear sunscreen on exposed body parts to avoid sunburn, Sunburn will not only leave you sore and sorry it will limit the bodies ability to cope with the heat.
Avoid sun exposure - It’s not always possible but try to stay out of the sun and at times when you need to be outside, seek shade. It’s also a good idea to plan ahead, if you know that a heatwave is imminent make sure that you’ve stocked up on groceries and have plenty of water in the fridge.
Keep your house cool - Shut curtains and blinds during the day and ensure air-conditioning units have been serviced and are fully functional well in advance.
If you’re feeling unwell and have any symptoms that may indicate heat exhaustion or heat stroke such as dizziness, a headache accompanied by nausea or vomiting call 1300 30 38 34 or book online and bulk billed doctor can visit you in the comfort of your own home. If more serious symptoms occur such as shortness of breath, loss of consciousness or slurred speech call triple zero (000) immediately.