Survive the heat and stay cool this summer
With hot days set to continue, it’s important everyone remembers to stay cool and safe this summer.
Emergency and trauma specialist at The Alfred Dr Helen Stergiou said that during extreme or sustained hot weather, it is easy for the body to become dehydrated or overheated.
“This can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases,” Dr Stergiou said.
“While it’s fun to be in the sun, it’s important everyone follows simple steps to stay cool and prevent themselves from potentially ending up in the hospital.”
While extreme heat can affect anybody, those most at risk:
- are aged over 65 years, especially those living alone
- have a pre-existing medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes
- have a disability
- are pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers
- babies and young children
- are overweight or obese
- have problematic alcohol or drug use.
Dr Helen Stergiou recommends staying cool this summer by following the Better Health Channel’s simple steps:
- keep hydrated – drink plenty of water even if you’re not thirsty
- never leave anyone – children or pets – in the car – the temperature can double in minutes
- stay somewhere cool – draw blinds and curtains to block out sun, use an air conditioner or fan, and switch off any electrical appliances not in use
- keep cool – dress in light and loose clothing, wear a hat, sunscreen and stay in the shade
- plan ahead – schedule activities, like exercising, in the coolest part of the day
- check in with others – look after those most at risk in the heat, including your neighbour living alone, older people, young children, people with a medical condition and your pets.