Another heat wave is upon us
Just when we thought this second heat wave was almost over with temperature's dropping to 38 on Sunday and 35 on Monday.
Mother nature has decided we haven't had enough hot summer weather yet and next week will see temperatures sore to the mid 40's again.
We cannot STRESS enough the importance of how important it is to be prepared for hot weather.
Extreme heat can make existing medical conditions worse and cause a heat – related illness, which may be fatal. The most important things to remember are:
- Keep cool
- Drink plenty of water, Always make sure you have a minimum of 2L of water on you at all times and make sure you have spare water filled and in the fridge.
- Stay out of the sun ( if you must go into the sun make sure you have sunscreen on with a minimum SPF of 30 and you have a hat on)
- Look after yourself and others
Who is most at risk?
People most at risk during extreme heat events are:
- People aged over 65 years, especially those living alone
- People who have a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness
- People taking medications that may affect the way the body reacts to heat
- People with problematic alcohol or other drug use
- People with a disability who may not be able to identify or communicate their discomfort or thirst
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who work or are physically active outdoors
Preparing for hot weather
- Check that your fan or air-conditioner works well
- Stock up on food, water and medication to avoid having to go out in the heat
Preparing for power failure
It is very common to lose power during extreme heat events.
You can be prepared by:
- Thinking about how you would cope without power
- Ensure you have a torch, a fully charged mobile phone or a telephone that will work without electricity, a battery operated radio and sufficient batteries
- Ensure you have frozen blocks / water bottles
Coping with the heat
- Look after yourself and keep in touch with sick or frail family, friends and neighbours
- 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 (not cold) showers
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day
- If you must go out, wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing and a hat
- Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads. Make sure you store refrigerated food properly and discard if it has been out of adequate temperature control for more than 4 hours.
- Watch or listen to news reports that provide more information during a heatwave
It is likely that extreme heat events will occur in conjunction with severe, extreme and Code Red Fire Danger days. Always remain up to date with Fire Warnings for your local area and act in accordance with your Fire Ready Plan.
Heat related illness
Extreme heat may cause illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It may also worsen pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
- Muscle pains
- Spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs
- Pale complexion and sweating
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle cramps and weakness
- Dizziness and headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
Heat Stroke (A Life Threatening Emergency – Call 000)
- Similar symptoms to heat exhaustion
- Dry skin with no sweating
- Mental condition worsens and causes confusion
- Stroke-like symptoms or collapsing
Medical Contact Information
For 24 hour health advice contact NURSE ON CALL 1300 60 60 24
For life threatening emergencies 000