It’s summertime again! While many of us welcome the warm weather, it’s worth being aware of the health risks that can come with it. Here are 10 tips for staying healthy in the heat.
We all know how hot a South Aussie summer can get! While the sunshine provides a great excuse to get out and about, it pays to be aware of the risks associated with the warmer weather.
Everyone is at risk of heat-related illnesses. It can affect you at any time – not just during a heatwave. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are our 10 tips for staying healthy in the heat.
1 Stay up-to-date with the weather forecast so you know when hot weather or a heatwave is coming. Seasons in Australia can be changeable and unpredictable, so it’s worth checking your local forecast regularly.
2 Stay cool with a fan or air-conditioner. Before the hot weather arrives, check that they’re in good working order and that filters and vents are clean. If needed, get any repairs done or replace your unit before the heat hits. Plus, maximise their efficiency by keeping your curtains, blinds and windows while they’re in use.
3 Drink enough water! SA Health recommends a daily intake of 2L for women and 2.5L for men. However, this may vary if you are on certain medications that can cause dehydration or increased body temperature. If you are unsure about your ideal intake, make an appointment to speak with your doctor.
4 On that note, make sure you continue taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Monitor your supply and plan ahead to avoid a trip to the pharmacy on a hot day.
5 Check the weather forecast to find out when the day will be at its hottest. If possible, plan around the peak temperature and try to avoid going out during that time. If you do go outside during the day, make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses, and a sunscreen that is SPF30+ or more. Also, choose loose-fitting, long-sleeved, and light-coloured clothing in breathable fabrics (like cotton) to keep your body covered but well-ventilated.
6 Stay organised with your groceries and other supplies so that you can avoid extra trips out in the heat. If you need something, home delivery can be a great way to stock up on essentials if you live in an area where it is offered.
7 Be prepared for power outages. Have an emergency kit with a torch, batteries, and a first aid kit. Consider including a power-bank so that you can keep your mobile phone charged without electricity. If you depend on power for medical equipment or care, it’s important to make a plan with your support network.
8 Check in with loved ones regularly and be vigilant – someone who is living with a mental health condition, or a cognitive impairment might not have the capacity to notify you that they are feeling unwell. Watch for signs that they may need help or even urgent medical attention.
9 Hot weather can be isolating, especially if you live alone. Ask a friend, family member, or neighbour to check in with you every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra support to help you stay healthy in the heat. If you feel distressed, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or the Lived Experience Telephone Support Service on 1800 013 755 to access support.
10 If you have pets, make sure they have plenty of water to drink and think about other ways to keep them cool during the hot days. If they are outside, you can hose them down or provide a pool for them to use.