Keep a cool head during hot summer days

There is little doubt that summer has arrived.

The past week has delivered several very hot days and according to the Bureau of Meteorology there are more hot days to come.

It is a prediction that will no doubt be heard with mixed feelings from people in the community.

If you are heading away on holidays, possibly to a beach location, then a forecast of warm weather will be music to your ears.

However, those who have to work outdoors during the summer may not be so excited about the bureau’s predictions.

Whatever may be your situation it is important to take care in the heat.

It is equally important to look out for others including the elderly, children and pets.

There are a few common sense things you can do to ensure your health and well-being during those hot days.

They include:

  • Drink lots of water, preferably every 15-20 minutes
  •  Avoid drinking alcohol, sugary or caffeinated drinks that can increase dehydration
  •  If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather
  •  Feed breastfed infants more frequently to help keep up their fluids
  • Never leave babies, children or animals alone in the car, even for a short time
  •  Wear light, loose, comfortable clothing
  •  Keep out of the sun in the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 5pm)
  • Try to stay in an air-conditioned environment – shopping centres and libraries are a good refuge if you don’t have air conditioning at home
  • Avoid outdoor exercise or strenuous activity, especially in the middle of the day
  • If you do go outside, carry a bottle of water with you, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.
  • If you have an older friend or relative with health or mobility problems check they are ok, make sure they know what to do to keep cool, and that they know who to call if they feel unwell.
  • Ensure your pets have plenty of water and shade available to them. Putting ice cubes in their water bowls will ensure the water stays cools for longer.

For more information on how to beat the heat visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat

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