Survive the heat safely

Last updated: 16 March 2016

Survive the heat this summer in five simple steps

Drink more water

  • 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 anyone in a car

Stay cool

  • 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.

Check in on others

  • 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.

Plan ahead

  • 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.
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