Breadcrumbs

Prepare now as the summer heat hits

Wednesday, 10 January

With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a period of high temperatures and hotter than average nights in the coming days, all South Australians should think about how they will stay healthy in the heat.

SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Paddy Phillips, said everyone is at risk of heat-related illness during hot weather and extreme heat.

“The heat affects everyone and some groups of people such as babies and young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people who have chronic health conditions are more at risk than others,” Professor Phillips said.

“When temperatures are hotter than 35°C, your body may not be able to cool you down enough for you to stay healthy, especially if you are an older person or if you are taking certain medicines.

“In extreme heat that lasts for a number of days, you are more likely to develop a heat-related illness and become unwell much faster than you would in just warm or hot weather.

“Before a hot weather or extreme heat occurs, there are a number of things everyone can do to prepare such as checking fans and air-conditioners are working properly and learning about the signs of heat-related illness.

“It’s also important to think about how you’ll look after pets, family, friends and neighbours who might need help in a heat event.

“Preparation could also include simple things like making sure you have food and groceries at home so you’re less likely to need to go out when it’s really hot and thinking about what you’ll do if you lose power.

“You can reduce your chances of becoming affected by the heat and unwell during very hot weather including drinking plenty of water, using fans or air-conditioning, avoiding going outside in the hottest part of the day, and keeping the home cool by closing curtains and blinds during the day.”

New resources are now available on the SA Health website providing tailored information, which have been translated into 20 languages.

These include information about extreme heat, staying healthy when it’s hot, heat-related illness, emergency and helpful contacts, how to prepare for hot weather, advice for exercising and sleeping, and advice for specific at-risk groups including older people, pregnant women, children and pets.

For more information visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/healthyintheheat.

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