Marie Del Borrello

Tips for Heat Stress This Summer

We live in a sunburnt country where the heat can cause stress to our bodies. Over the holiday season, we are likely to be spending more time outdoors with our loved ones. It is important to stay cool and hydrated to ensure you stay well during the hot summer weather.

Tips to help you stay well during hot weather

1. Stay Hydrated
Drink water. This is the simplest yet best way to avoid heat-related illness. It’s important to keep up your water intake, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Adults are recommended to drink approximately 2 liters of water per day. You should avoid sugary, alcoholic or hot drinks (including tea and coffee) as these can make dehydration worse.

2. Keep your body cool
Drinking cold drinks and eating cooler meals like salads and fruit are not only more satisfying in warm weather, but they can also help you keep cool. Wearing light coloured and loose fitting clothes made from natural fibers, like cotton, also helps. In addition to this, you can keep your home cool by shutting curtains and blinds during the day.

3. Stay safe in the sun

If you are out in the sun, make sure you are being sun smart. Sun protection is absolutely essential during the Australian summer! Make sure you follow the five S’s:

1. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
2. Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards, or after swimming, exercising or towel drying. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun. We recommend the Cancer Council Ultra SPF 50+
3. Slap on a hat – broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
4. Seek shade.
5. Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

4. Keep your food safe Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored, and defrost foods in the fridge, not on the kitchen bench.

When it cools down

When the heat has passed after a hot day, continue to drink plenty of water. Open windows and doors to let your house cool down, contact family and friends to find out how they have coped and to see if they need help, and go to your doctor if you feel unwell. You might also like to think about how well you coped and if you would do anything differently next time, including making changes to your home to make it more comfortable during extreme heat periods.