Extreme heat kills more Victorians than any other natural disaster with heatwaves particularly dangerous when coupled with high overnight temperatures as they can interfere with our body’s natural ability to cool down and cause heat illness.
Heat illness can include heat cramps and heat exhaustion – which, if left untreated, can lead to heatstroke. Heatstroke is fatal in up to 80 per cent of cases, but it is preventable.
There are simple steps we can all take to reduce the chance of heat illness like staying hydrated, spending time in cool, air-conditioned buildings, planning ahead and keeping up to date with weather forecasts and checking in on those most at risk in the heat like older people or young children.
- Drink water
- Never leave people or pets in cars
- Keep cool
- Plan ahead
- Check in on other
For tips on surviving the heat, visit: betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/survive-heat (External link)
Signs of heat-related illness?
Call triple zero (000) if you or someone you know is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
You can also speak to NURSE-ON-CALL (1300 606 024) or your doctor for general medical advice during extreme heat.
And, don't forget pets and wildlife!
Keeping your cats and dogs indoors keeps them cool, and also spares wildlife that may be more vulnerable and in a weakened state.
During the summer months when we experience consecutive days of extremely high temperatures, many species of wildlife will suffer dehydration and exhaustion. Placing shallow containers of water around your yard during hot days and especially through heat waves really helps your local wildlife.
For tips on helping heat-stressed wildlife, visit: wildlifevictoria.org.au (External link)