Staying healthy in the heat

Illustration of the sun

Many Tasmanians have already had a taste of the hot summer ahead, with a mini heat wave experienced in the south of the State last week.

Heat stress can be life-threatening, and elderly people, babies and young children and those with chronic illnesses are the most vulnerable.

We’ve put together a checklist that shows how to protect yourself and your loved ones when the temperatures soar – and stay COVID-safe at the same time.

  • Keep in touch with relatives, friends and neighbours as soon as you know it’s going to heat up, and for the duration of a heat wave
  • Look out for the warning signs of heat stress such as lethargy, confusion, dizziness, headache and thirst. If symptoms are severe, seek medical help immediately
  • Create cool rooms in your house – use a fan or air conditioner if you have them and shut curtains and blinds
  • Wear light-coloured, loose clothing to help you stay cool
  • Seek out local cool places if it’s too hot at home. Remember the importance of staying COVID-safe if you’re out in public: keep 1.5 metres apart from others and wash your hands regularly
  • Drink plenty of water and carry water with you at all times – particularly as some drinking fountains might still be closed
  • Avoid sitting outside in the sun – if you do need to be outdoors, put on sunscreen and a hat, stay hydrated and find a shady spot with a breeze
  • Remember that food safety is more important than ever when the weather is hot. Check out this poster to find out more about how to avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen and chill and cook food correctly.

The Tasmanian Department of Health has put together a short video on how to stay safe in extreme heat. You can watch it here.

And here is more detail on the signs of dehydration in older people. Anglicare’s Home Care Services staff receive regular refresher training on how to keep their clients safe and well during hot weather and they follow the guidelines above.

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