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Tips to beat the heat as temperatures rise

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Drink plenty of water, keep cool, take care of others and have a plan.

They’re the key points to remember as the Gold Coast experiences rising temperatures. To ensure you and your loved ones avoid heat-related illnesses such as cramps, exhaustion or even stroke, here is a comprehensive list of tips to help you beat the heat.

Drink plenty of water

  • Drink plenty of water even if you do not feel thirsty. Check the colour of your urine – if it’s pale you’re drinking enough.
  • If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather.
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks including tea and coffee (they can make dehydration worse).
  • If you go outside, carry a bottle of water with you.
  • Stock your fridge with cold water and freezer with ice.

Keep cool - your body

  • Drink cold drinks and eat smaller cold meals such as salads and fruit.
  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton.
  • Stay out of the sun.
  • If you must go outside, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.
  • Plan your day around the heat – avoid being outdoors between 11am and 5pm.
  • Put wet towels or cool packs on your arms or neck or put your feet in cool water.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Minimise physical activity. Do all household chores early in the morning when it is coolest.

Keep cool – your house

  • Cool your house by closing windows, shutting curtains and blinds and opening windows at night if you can to let in cool air.
  • Use air-conditioning if you have it (make sure it’s set to cool).
  • If you don’t have air-conditioning, spend time in a cool place like a library, shopping centre or cinema.
  • Know which room in your house is the coolest. This will often be on the ground floor on the south side.
  • If there is no power or you can’t get to an air-conditioned space, spend time in the coolest part of your house.
  • Use your stove and oven as little as possible.

Take care of others

  • Visit or telephone elderly friends, neighbours and relatives at least once a day.
  • Check that they have water in the fridge.
  • Encourage them to drink.
  • Help them to find the coolest room in the house.
  • Consider taking them to a cool place (e.g. shopping centre, library or cinema).
  • Take particular care to keep children cool and get them to drink lots as they won’t often do this by themselves.
  • Never leave babies, children or animals alone in a car even if the air-conditioner is on.

Have a plan

  • Know who to call if you need help.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if you have any medical conditions.
  • If you feel unwell, seek medical advice from your doctor or nearest hospital.
  • Know where to find your emergency kit in case of a power failure.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Where to get help

  • Call 13 HEALTH (13 432 584)
  • Contact your doctor, hospital or clinic
  • In an emergency, call 000 for urgent advice from the Queensland Ambulance Service

For general information, phone Gold Coast Public Health on 5687 9000.

Gold Coast Health would like to acknowledge this information is based on work undertaken by NSW Health.

Last updated 20 Dec 2016