Hot weather and heatwave
During extreme heat, it's easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat. If this happens, you may develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency which can result in permanent damage to your vital organs, or even death, if not treated immediately.
With heatwaves becoming a regular feature of the Victorian summer, it’s important to plan ahead and consider how you can look after yourself and others when the extreme heat hits.
Who's at risk?
Extreme heat can affect anybody, however the people most at risk are:
- people aged over 65 years, especially those living alone
- people with a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness
- people taking medications that may affect the way their body reacts to heat, such as:
- allergy medicines (antihistamines)
- blood pressure and heart medicines (beta-blockers)
- seizure medicines (anticonvulsants)
- water pills (diuretics)
- pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers
- babies and young children
- people who are overweight or obese
- people with problematic alcohol or drug use
- people with a disability
- people who have trouble moving around, such as those who are bed-bound or in wheelchairs
- people who work or exercise outdoors
- people who have recently arrived from cooler climates.
If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a hot day, call Nurse-on-call on 1300 60 60 24. If it's an emergency, call 000.
Tips to survive the heat
Remember these simple tips to help you stay safe in the heat:
- Drink water: Even if you don't feel thirsty, drink water. Carry a water bottle with you always.
- Hot cars kill: Never leave kids, adults or pets in hot cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
- Keep cool: Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics.
- Plan ahead: Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
- Help others: Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young and people with a medical condition. Don't forget your pets!
Prepare for extreme heat by:
- stocking up on food, water and medicines so you don't have to go out in the heat
- storing medicines safely at the recommended temperature
- checking that your fan or air-conditioner works well – have your air-conditioner serviced if necessary
- looking at the things you can do to make your home cooler, such as installing window coverings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.
If you or anyone you know feels unwell on a hot day, call Nurse-on-call on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency.
If you're visiting Towong Shire:
- where possible, do your outdoors sightseeing and activities in the cooler early morning and twilight hours
- familiarise yourself with the local health service information
- monitor local weather conditions and be well prepared for hot days
- carry extra water and make sure vehicles have had safety checks.
For more information about staying healthy in the heat, visit: