Beat the heat this summer

Published on 24 December 2015

The Mildura region is famous for its balmy summer days when the weather is hot and the sun is full and with recent heat waves, Mildura Rural City Council is reminding residents and visitors to take care of themselves and their loved ones.

Extremely hot days can be detrimental to everyone’s health, particularly the very young, elderly and those who are sick and during the 2009 Victorian heatwave, the number of deaths increased by 374 people.

Community Wellbeing and Services Portfolio Councilor Sharyon Peart said there were some simple precautions people could take to avoid the dangers of heat.

“It’s a sobering fact, but extreme heat kills more people in Australia than any other natural disaster,” Cr Peart said 

“One of the reasons so many people love living and visiting our region is because of the warm weather we have, especially at this time of year when you can enjoy the outdoors,” she said.

“But on extremely hot days people should stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm and avoid extreme physical exercise.”

If people must run errands or have appointments on hot days they should try to do them during the cooler morning hours. Drinking plenty of water on hot days is also extremely important.

Babies, elderly people and those who are sick are often affected by the heat much more quickly than others so particular attention should be paid to them on hot days. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion range from muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea to vomiting and fainting. 

The risk of heat stress is higher for young children, as they sweat quicker than adults and they are less likely to be able to tell you they are dehydrated.

"There are simple things people can do prevent their children from suffering dehydration, heat stress or worse.  Make sure they are drinking water rather than sport drinks or fruit juices and if you’re worried they might be dehydrated, ask them when they last went to the toilet. If it’s been a few hours then they’re not drinking enough, if it’s been over six hours then they are likely to be dehydrated."

Parents and carers of young children are also reminded that leaving a child in a car at any time of the year is extremely dangerous as the temperature inside a stationary vehicle can rapidly soar.  

If you or someone you are caring for is affected by heat, cool down by drinking water, taking a cool shower, placing a damp cloth on the back of your neck and spraying water over your skin and clothing.

If you have any concerns about your or someone else’s health or fear they may be suffering from a heat-related illness contact your local doctor, hospital, medical facility or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency.

More information is also available from the Victorian Department of Health website 


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Angela Umback
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