Hot weather

Hot Weather
Extremely hot days are an emerging public health issue for New Zealand and has the potential to cause Who is at risk in hot weather?
All people may feel the effects of extremely hot weather but certain groups are more vulnerable: • Elderly people (particularly women, those with medical problems, live alone, socially isolated or • Children (especially babies and young children) • People who work outdoors • Obese and overweight people • Hospital inpatient and nursing home residents • People with medical problems/chronic disease Protecting Yourself and Your Family in Hot Weather
Plan your day to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Don't wait until you get thirsty. If going out, take
some water with you. Always keep a bottle of water in the car. Take regular breaks in the shade when outdoors.
Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing made of natural fibres such as cotton. Place a
damp cloth/scarf/handkerchief on the back of the neck. Park your car in a shady spot or in a covered car park building: never leave children or
U and re-apply regularly. Wear a hat, sunglasses and carry an umbrella to use
as a sun shade. Splash or spray some water on arms and feet to cool off. Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, hot or sugary drinks. Avoid heavy meals, eat salads and fruits
Have cool showers or baths. Ta to cool off. Always
ensure you adhere to water safety practices. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity or exercise. Try and plan it for early morning or in the
When planning trips, take account of possible longer travelling times. Keep your home and Remember that pets and animals are also prone to heat effects - keep in the shade and provide
Staying Cool Indoors When It's Hot Outside
• If the room is cooler than outside, keep windows closed and blinds down. Open the windows • Use a fan or air-conditioning unit where possible. • Consider using pale curtains or other reflective materials on windows. • Keep curtains closed or drapes drawn in rooms that get a lot of sun. • Try not to use the stove or oven very often. • Move to the coolest room in the house. Older people who live alone may need to be checked on daily to ensure they are well. How Do I Help Myself or Someone Who May Be Suffering From Heat-Related Illness
If you feel weak, anxious, dizzy, have intense thirst and a headache, do the following as soon as
• Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate. • Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes. Medical attention is need if heat cramps are • Do not take aspirin or paracetamol. • Consult your doctor or dial 111if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist. A heat stroke can occur suddenly and may progress rapidly to unconsciousness. If you suspect someone may be suffering the effects of a heat stroke, telephone111 for an ambulance immediately. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive: • Move the person to somewhere cooler if possible • Increase ventilation if you're in a room by opening a window or turning on a fan • Loosen their clothes, sprinkle with cool water or wrap them in a damp sheet to cool them down • Do not give aspirin or paracetamol. Symptoms and Basic Management of Heat-Related Conditions
Signs and symptoms
Initial management
Mild and Moderate
headedness. Can be associated with containing electrolytes. Rest in a headaches. Constipation may occur seek medical attention. If constipated discuss treatment options with a medical professional. Heat rash
Small red itchy rash on the face, neck, Rash usually improves without upper chest, under breast, groin and Minimise sweating by staying in an air-conditioned environment, taking frequent showers and wearing light clothes. Keep the affected area dry. Topical antihistamine and antiseptic creams may reduce discomfort and prevent secondary infection. Heat oedema
Usually subsides following acclimatisation to the heat. Heat syncope
in a cool place and lie down with legs and hips elevated. Seek medical attention to rule out other causes of faints. Heat cramps
Painful muscular spasms, often in the Immediate rest in a cool place. legs, arms or abdomen. Usually occurs at the end of sustained gently. exercise. using a solution containing electrolytes. Medical attention should be sought if heat cramps are sustained for more than one hour. Heat exhaustion Symptoms of intense thirst, weakness, Move to a cool shaded room or
discomfort, anxiety, dizziness, fainting air-conditioned place. and headaches. Apply cold wet sheet or cold water spray and use a fan if available. Dial 111 for an ambulance if concerned. Severe and Life-Threatening
Heat stroke
disorientation, convulsions and unconsciousness. Worsening of
This is especially of concern in people Seek medical attention if you pre-existing
on the disease. This can include but is 111 for an ambulance. not limited to chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness or confusion.


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