Heat Health over the Holidays

Published on 22 December 2016

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Heat Health over the Holidays

Extreme heat is a killer! In the 2009 Victorian heatwave 374 people died and almost 80% of them were over 65 years of age.

As Victoria braces for soaring temperatures in the coming week ahead, Mayor Brian Gibson said it was important to take a moment to think about how you and your family, friends, and neighbours can stay safe in the heat.

“This year, we’re expecting a hot summer, and unfortunately that means the risk of heat stress is higher for older people, particularly if they are on medication, and also puts our young children at risk,” said Mayor Gibson.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions occurring when the body’s temperature rises and the internal organs start to shut down. Symptoms of heat exhaustion range from muscle cramps, dizziness to nausea, vomiting and fainting.

“There are things we can all do to stay safe in extreme heat like drinking at least two litres of water a day, seeking out air-conditioned buildings, drawing your blinds to keep the heat out, plan ahead and taking cool showers,” Mayor Gibson reminds residents.

“We can also keep an eye on people we know who may be at greater risk of heat exhaustion like our neighbours who live alone, young children, or people with a medical condition.”

He encouraged Gannawarra residents to make the most of cooler, public spaces if they could not beat the heat at home.

“For really hot days, if you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting a friend who does, or an air-conditioned venue such as our local public library,” he suggested.

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.

For more information please contact Council on (03) 5450 9333 or visit www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au