Stay Cool This Summer

hot day at the beach

Christmas time in Australia is all about the great outdoors - and we love it; if we are not at the beach, we are playing backyard cricket or going on picnics. But we can have too much of a good thing - namely, heatstroke is a very real possibility in the searing Aussie heat - here are some pointers on how to enjoy our lovely summer without any unpleasant side effects:

  1. Don't get into those tight pants for the picnic, no matter how good they look: wear loose fitting clothing in natural fibres such as linen or cotton - this will allow air to circulate freely around your body - naturally cooling it.
  2. Be sunsmart - if you are sunburnt, your body loses some of its natural ability to cool itself down - in fact sunstroke and heatstroke go hand-in-hand. Wear a hat, stay in the shade and chose natural toxin-free sunscreen. 
  3. Drink, drink, drink - loads of water will keep you hydrated. Unfortunately often drinks that are caffeinated such as coffee can dehydrate you further. Iced tea is also a good alternative- be mindful though, highly sugar laden drinks aren't great for anyone's health and should be avoided. Water is best.
  4. If you take any medications such as blood pressure tablets or diuretics, be careful as they may interfere with your body's ability to get rid of heat.
  5. Stay in the shade in the middle of the day - no one needs to be running around at midday in December in Australia!
  6. Simple tricks like wetting your shirt or using a cool collar, or even a wet facecloth work brilliantly to cool you down. As does running cool water on your pulse points, such as inside your wrists and your ankle. 
  7. NEVER EVER EVER leave anybody in a parked car - this is the most common cause of heat-related deaths in children and animals. A car parked in the Aussie sun can reach searing temperatures in minutes. Take the time to bundle up the kids (or your dog) and take them with you - or have another adult who can stay in the car with the air conditioner running.  Cracking the windows, or even parking in the shade makes no real difference - JUST DON'T DO IT. 

SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • A high temperature - especially if it goes above 40 degrees C
  • Confusion, agitation or slurred speech 
  • If you stop sweating - this is also a potentially dangerous sign.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Flushed red skin that you can't seem to cool down.
  • Rapid breathing or a fast pulse

Summer is fun! A few simple tricks can keep it that way - enjoy. 

Alexandra BrewsterComment