24 January 2018
During summer it is common to experience long spells of extreme heat. During these heatwaves, it is very easy to become dehydrated or overheated which can lead to a number of¬†heat related conditions¬†such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or worse still, heat stroke.
Other common risks of heat waves are power outages and¬†bushfires.
It‚Äôs important to understand the effects that extreme heat can have, who is most at risk and how to prepare for and¬†cope during¬†times of extreme heat.
Who is at risk?
While everybody can be susceptible to dehydration or heat stress during a heat wave, some people can be particularly at risk of heat related problems, such as¬†older people¬†and¬†those suffering from chronic illness,¬†young children¬†and even¬†pets.
How to prepare for a heat wave
There are a few things you can do to prepare when periods of extreme heat have been forecasted.
Some ways to prepare for a heat wave include:
- filling a bath or with water before the heat comes to help you cool down but try to avoid extreme temperature changes
- keeping your blinds or curtains drawn to block out the heat
- having items such as a torch, a battery operated fan, extra batteries, bottled water and first aid kit on hand in case of a power outage
- keeping plenty of bottles/jugs of drinking water ¬†in a cool dark place
- wrap medications that need to be refrigerated (such as insulin pens) in foil or place in an heat repellent container with some ice in case of power failure
- if a cool change is forecast for the evening, open up the house to let cool air through.