With most of the country in the grips of a heatwave and temperatures set to soar into the 40s in many part of Australia, it’s crucial you know how to look after yourself.
Heatwave is described by medical professionals as the “silent killer” because, unlike other extreme weather events, it can take days or weeks to take its toll.
In light of our changing climate and the increased incidence of heatwave, the United Nations this year released guidelines on how to keep yourself safe. People most at risk are infants, the elderly and anyone with respiratory or other chronic illnesses, which can be exacerbated during the hot weather.
When it is very hot, you may be at increased risk of heat related illness, especially if you have medical conditions or take certain medicines. In addition to keeping yourself cool and well, it’s important you check on anyone else you know who might be vulnerable.
Early symptoms of heat stress include:
If you feel any of these symptoms during a heatwave, phone your state health hotline, visit your GP or go to the emergency department of your hospital.
In more extreme cases of heat stress, symptoms include:
If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, phone 000 immediately.
The best thing you can do during a heatwave is avoid getting too hot. Here are some ideas on how to stay cool and safe:
How do you stay cool during heatwaves? Were you aware of the risks?