Keep your cool in hot weather

Acting Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch has warned Tasmanians to take care while enjoying the next few days of warm to hot weather.

Dr Veitch said the upcoming spell of hot days, particularly in the Midlands and North of the state, may stress the health of the elderly, infants and the sick.

"It's especially important to drink plenty of water and keep cool in the heat of the day," Dr Veitch said.

"Some people are more affected by hot weather than others and it's important to recognise those at risk and what to do if they're not coping with the heat.

"As we age, it's harder to control our body temperature and three or four warm to hot days can worsen conditions like heart or lung disease and diabetes.

"We strongly encourage people to check on their elderly, frail or sick relatives, friends and neighbours."

Dr Veitch urged Tasmanians to keep the following points in mind in hot weather.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water.
  • Check on others: Check on relatives and friends at risk, such as the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions.
  • Minimise sun: Limit your time directly in the sun. Don't overdo physical activity in the heat of the day, and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and plenty of broad-spectrum sunscreen (minimum SPF30+).
  • Never leave a child alone in a car.
  • Prepare your house: Use a fan or air-conditioner if you can. Draw blinds and curtains to keep out the heat during the day. Open doors and windows to make the most of cool evening breezes.
  • Pets: Keep your pets out of the sun and give them cool water to drink. Exercise them in the early morning or evening.
  • Seek medical advice: Illness that comes on in the heat can be life threatening. In an emergency call 000 for help.

For detailed information visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/emergency_info/extreme_heat

20 February 2015