We all got to relax during the cooler months, but now it’s starting to warm up. It’s warming up almost as fast as Christmas is approaching which for many is way too fast! Here are some things that you need to keep an eye out for as well as some tips on beating the heat.
Look out for heat stress
If you at all feel unwell, seek medical attention immediately. Heat-related illnesses can affect anybody and range from mild conditions such as rashes or cramps to severe conditions such as heat stroke. Symptoms of heatstroke can include confusion, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Rosemary Lester says that “Heat may worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical condition such as heart disease”.
She advises people spend as much time as possible indoors, avoid strenuous activity and placing wet towels on your arms or neck and taking cool (not cold) showers.
Watch yourself outdoors
If you do go outside outdoors look out for signs and symptoms of heat stroke. This could include fainting, heat exhaustion, cramps, rashes (also called prickly heat) and fatigue.
If you are feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy or weak, stop and hydrate. It is important to drink a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Also be sure to cover yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and loose cotton shirts with collars and sleeves.
Practical solutions such as using fans, erecting shade cloth and having regular rest and drink breaks could assist in preventing heat-relating illnesses.
Hot cars are even more dangerous
Even when window are down it is not safe to leave children or animals unattended even for a moment. The temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 20 to 30 degrees higher than the outside temperature and potentially fatal.
Look out for older friends
Look out for older relatives, friends or neighbours. Older adults are more prone to heat stress because their body may not adjust well to sudden temperature change. They are also more likely to have a chronic medical condition and taking medication that may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
Look after the animals
Pet owners should keep their pets inside where possible, and with plenty of water.
Heat stress symptoms for animals could include excessive panting, excessive salivation or lethargy and could be fatal. If you pet shows these signs take them to the vet straight away, in a cool car.
In particular, pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs that are overweight, have had heart disease or long hair, are more susceptible to heat stress.
Prepare your home
To pre-cool your home for a hot day, you could close all windows, draw blinds and pull down awnings first thing in the morning to shade their home.
Fans are recommended in the first instance and then when you do put the air conditioning on; it is best to target a temperature between 23C and 26C, and closing off room that are not being used.
What are some of your tips for beating the heat in summer? Let us know in the comments below.