Beat the heat this summer
In the hot weather, you need to take care of your health. Western Australia can experience long periods of extreme heat, where the maximum and minimum temperatures are much hotter than usual. The WA Department of Health advises people to follow the following information to stay safe as the weather heats up.
How can you plan ahead for the heat?
- Check fans and air conditioners are working and that filters and air vents are clean.
- If you need to service or replace your fan or air-conditioner, try to do it before the summer rush.
- If you have reverse cycle air-conditioning, check that it is set to ‘cool’ before summer begins.
- If you are worried about the cost of using your air-conditioner, investigate whether concessions are available on your energy bills.
- Make a plan for keeping in regular contact with friends and neighbours when it is very hot.
- Make sure you have food and other groceries at home so you are less likely to have to go out when it is really hot.
- Take care when you buy, store and handle food in hot weather to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
- Listen to radio and television weather reports and try to plan ahead for the hot days.
How can you keep cool in the heat?
- Drink plenty of fluids: water, diluted juice (mixed with water), low sugar sports drinks.
- Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks (including tea, coffee and energy drinks) as these can increase dehydration.
- Make ice cubes from water or cordial and suck them.
- Wear light-coloured, loose clothing.
- Stay indoors with a fan or air-conditioner on (ensure adequate ventilation if using a fan).
- Take a cool shower or bath, or put your feet in a bowl of cool water.
- Use a spray bottle filled with water, or a wet cloth, to cool your face and body.
- Keep curtains, blinds and windows closed during the day to keep your home cool.
- Sleep with just a sheet over you, in the coolest part of the house.
- Limit time spent outdoors: go early morning or late evening, stay in the shade, put on a hat and sunglasses, and apply sunscreen.
- Always carry a water bottle when out.