We all love summer but when the mercury climbs into the thirties and beyond, it’s important to take care of yourself. Here are some tips to help you to stay cool this summer.
- Avoid the heat completely. If possible, monitor the weather forecast and plan your day around it. Between 11am and 3pm avoid spending too long working, standing or sitting outside. If you do go out, make sure you’re well-hydrated, have a bottle of water and stay in the shade.
- Protect your skin from the sun. You’ll need sunscreen with at least SPF30, a hat and sunglasses with proper UV protection.
- Wear loose, light-coloured breathable clothes, for example, cotton.
- Don’t do too much. If you are set on doing housework, gardening or other errands, stick to a cooler time of day.
- Keep the blinds and curtains shut. Any room in your house which is a sun trap will be unbearable by the end of the day if you don’t keep the heat out. You can also use a door snake to stop the hot air from coming into your home.
- Use fans if you don’t have air-conditioning. Free-standing fans and ceiling fans will still do the job even if they’re just moving around warm air.
- Take cool baths or showers. If this is difficult during the day or without support, splashing your face with cool water or using a damp cloth on the forehead and neck can help you cool off.
- When it’s hot, make sure you’re drinking lots of fluid, especially water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Try and avoid caffeine or alcohol as they will dehydrate you. And you may not feel hungry but it’s important to eat normally so you replace the salts and fluids lost through sweating. Fruits and salads are great for hot days as they are cool and contain lots of water.
- Once the day is done, open some windows. At the end of the day or once the cool change has come through, open some windows to let cooler air into your house.
- Know who to call if you need help or feel unwell. Heatstroke can be life-threatening so if you or someone you know has persisting symptoms seek medical attention immediately. It’s also important to know what to do in case of a bushfire. Your state fire service will have some good tips and resources. Here’s a list of emergency services around the country.
If you get dizzy, a headache or feel nauseous – Find a cool place out of the sun, drink plenty of water and take a cool shower.
If you are prone to overheating, it’s important that you’re not alone during a heat wave. Check the weather forecast ahead of time and contact a worker on Better Caring to accompany you on hotter days.