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Surviving the heat

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Heat waves are a significant health risk for Australians, in particular for younger and older residents.  On particularly hot days surges in energy demand can mean that the impact of large numbers of air conditioners all coming on at the same time can cause the power system to fail.

This means that it pays to be prepared.  Keep the curtains drawn and ensure you have the materials you need in the event of a black out.  Don’t leave anyone (or your pets) in a parked car even for a short period on a hot day.

The most important step is planning and to be sure that you can recognise the impacts of heat-related illness.

Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80% of cases.

Heat can also worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical issue such as heart disease or diabetes. Most reported illness and death is due to the effect of heat on those who are already ill.

These five simple tips can help you to stay cool and survive the heat:

  1. Drink more water 
  2. Never leave anyone in a car
  3. Stay somewhere cool
  4. Plan ahead
  5. Check in on others

For heaps of information on how to prepare for extreme heat visit the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel.