Stay heat smart this summer
With unusually hot weather predicted for this summer, Tasmanians are being urged to be heat smart this summer and learn how to keep themselves and others safe.
Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch, said while Tasmania has traditionally been associated with cooler weather, hot weather can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening, illness.
“Hotter summers in Tasmania mean greater risk of heat-related illness – particularly for those at higher risk such as older and very young Tasmanians, and people with chronic illnesses,” Dr Veitch said.
“It’s important that everyone in the community, especially those at higher risk, know how they can best protect themselves and others as the hot weather approaches.”
Tasmanians can keep themselves and others safe by following a few simple steps to alleviate the chance of falling ill during hot weather, especially for vulnerable Tasmanians.
To stay safe in the hot weather:
- Plan your day to minimise strenuous activities and time spent outside, especially during the hottest part of the day. Stay up to date with bushfire and smoke alerts.
- Limit your time in the sun and wear light coloured, long, loose-fitting clothes, a hat and sunscreen.
- Use fans or air-conditioners and close blinds and curtains to keep the heat out.
- Keep windows and doors closed if it is hotter outside than inside and reopen them once the weather has cooled.
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Never leave children or pets in cars.
- Check on family, friends and relatives, especially if they are at higher risk of being affected by heat.
- Know the signs of heat-related illness, and seek medical advice if needed and in an emergency, call 000 for help – heat-related illness can be life threatening.
Bureau of Meteorology Senior Meteorologist Brooke Oakley said the long-range forecast showed a high chance of a warmer than usual summer ahead.
"This summer there is an increased risk of extreme heat and heatwaves," Ms Oakley said.
"A heatwave is when daily maximum and minimum temperatures are unusually hot for three or more days in a row.
"Night-time temperatures are important during heatwaves, because warmer temperatures overnight make it harder for the body to recover from the heat from the day.
Heatwave forecasts also consider what is unusually hot for different locations.
"For example, we know people in Tasmania will experience 35 degrees differently to people in Western Australia," Ms Oakley said.
"The Bureau of Meteorology issues warnings for severe and extreme heatwaves.
“Severe heatwaves are likely to be challenging for vulnerable people. Extreme heatwaves are rare and anyone who does not take precautions to keep cool is at risk."
For further advice on how to stay heat smart this summer, go to: Extreme heat | Tasmanian Department of Health
For information about heatwaves and BOM’s heatwave services, visit Heatwave Knowledge Centre (bom.gov.au).