Survive the heat safely
Last updated: 16 March 2016
Thursday 17 December 2015
Survive the heat this summer in five simple steps
- 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 kids, pets or anyone else in cars – the temperature can double in minutes
- Kidsafe's Unconventional oven website shows how any car can turn into an oven
- Watch the video of a piece of lamb cooking in a car on a 27 degree day.
- Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned buildings (like shopping centres, libraries, or community centres)
- Keep 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
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day
- If you do go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
- Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from natural materials like cotton and linen
- Eat smaller meals more often and eat more cold meals (like salads)
- Make sure you properly store food that needs refrigeration
- Avoid activities like exercise, renovating and gardening
- Watch or listen to news reports for more information
- Don’t forget your pets – make sure they have plenty of water, a cool bath, wet towel to lie on or a place next to a fan.
- Look after those most at risk – neighbours 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
- Make sure friends, family and neighbours drink plenty of water
- Help family, friends and neighbours who are aged over 65 or have an illness by doing shopping or other errands for them
- If older people you know can't stay cool in theit home, take them somewhere cool for the day
- If you someone you know has symptoms of heat-related illness, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 for 24-hour health advice or see your doctor
- In an emergency, call 000.
- Check the weather forecasts – watch the news, check the forecast online or download the Better Health Channel app for alerts (available for Apple and Android devices)
- Plan activities for the coolest part of the day
- Make sure you have 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
- In case the power goes out, keep these handy: a torch, battery-operated radio, fully charged mobile phone, food that doesn’t need refrigeration, medications, plenty of drinking water and other essential items.