Hot weather advice (video transcript)
Interviewer: So who is most at risk of developing a heat-related illness?
Professor Tarun Weeramanthri: Most at risk are the elderly and the frail, also the young – particularly babies and infants. Also those with chronic medical conditions, especially heart problems and those on multiple pills or medications. There's also another group which is visitors from overseas or interstate who may not be used to the heat.
Interviewer: So what are the main things we can do to look after ourselves in the heat?
Professor Tarun Weeramanthri: It's common sense basically. If you can, stay indoors and out of the heat. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, and instead drink two litres of water a day. If you need to go outside, be sun-smart and be exercise-smart. And if you have a pool, keep it clean and chlorinated, and be very attentive to food hygiene don't let food go off in the heat and then eat it because you'll be at risk of food poisoning.
Interviewer: What are the signs of heat stress?
Professor Tarun Weeramanthri: The mild signs can just be some tiredness, some nausea and a headache, but that may build up to cramps and severe fatigue. And in severe cases the body can actually stop sweating so you may have hot, dry skin but not be sweating.
Interviewer: So what advice would you give people to be smart in the heat?
Professor Tarun Weeramanthri: The advice is to really overall, is to know if you're in a vulnerable group, take the precautions that are necessary and if you do develop any signs of heat stress, seek medical attention.
Where to get help
- See your doctor
- Visit a GP after hours
- Ring healthdirect on 1800 022 222
This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.