News & Media

21 January 2015

5 tips for staying cool during summer heatwaves

Gippsland residents are being reminded to take particular care of their health during the heat of the summer months.

Take care during the summer months

Gippsland residents are being reminded to take particular care of their health during the heat of the summer months.

“Despite a relatively cool start to summer, February – the hottest month of the year – is just around the corner,” said Dr James Bvirakare, Medical Director at Latrobe Community Health Service.

“The heat is a deceptive threat. We view it as part of everyday life in Australia, but it can have a very real impact on our health. This is particularly true for people who are elderly and people who have a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness,” he said.

Dr Bvirakare said there were several easy steps that can be taken to reduce the health impact of heatwaves.

“The Department of Health has extensive advice on coping with the heat. We need to keep fluids up, avoid the hottest parts of the day, and look after our neighbours,” he said.

Department of Health recommendations include:

  1. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  2. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers. Or spend as much time as possible in cool or air‑conditioned buildings (for example, shopping centres, libraries, cinemas or community centres).
  3. Stock up on food, water and medicines so you don’t have to go out in the heat.
  4. Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
  5. Avoid strenuous activity like home improvements and gardening.

For more tips about staying cool this summer, visit the Department of Health website.