Stay cool this summer

With temperatures already soaring this summer, making sure you know what to do during times of extreme heat is crucial to staying well.

A heatwave is an emergency that many people underestimate, and it can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences.

Northern Health Acting Director of Emergency Department, Dr Dean Pritchard, says we need to remember the impact of extreme heat on our community as we move into summer.

“Conditions as simple as sunburn, and as serious as heat stroke, can be prevented by avoiding exposure and exertion during the hottest times of day,” says Dr Pritchard.

“Care must be taken by staff and patients to avoid prolonged exposure to heat during summer, particularly when combined with strenuous activity. We must also be mindful of our elderly family and neighbours, who may not have access to air-conditioning,” he adds.

Here are some of our tips to survive the heat this summer:

Stay hydrated:

  • Keep those fluids up! Even if you don’t feel thirsty, have a drink bottle with you at all times to ensure you’re drinking plenty of water.

Stay cool:

  • Seek out air-conditioned buildings, keep blinds closed, take cool showers, and wear loose clothing made from natural, breathable fibres like cotton.

Stay out of hot cars:

  • Hot cars can kill! Never leave children, older people and pets in cars. Within minutes, the temperature inside a parked car can double.

Stay smart:

  • Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you do have to go outside, remember to slip, slop, slap and seek shade.
  • Avoid exercising in the heat and activities like renovating and gardening.
  • Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
  • Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
  • Watch or listen to news reports to find out more information during extreme heat.

Stay connected:

  • Look out for each other – patients, staff, volunteers and community members.
  • Check in on those most at risk in the heat – older people, pets and our patients.

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