A heat wave occurs when there are more than a few days in a row above 34 degrees, often combined with high humidity.
Stay healthy in the heat. Find out how you can prepare for and cope during a heat event with these simple tips:
- drink two to three litres of water per day, even if not thirsty
- wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, porous natural fibre clothes
- avoid strenuous activities
- don't drink alcohol, soft drinks, tea or coffee—they worsen dehydration
- don't take salt tablets unless prescribed by a doctor
- avoid heavy protein foods (e.g. meat, dairy products) which increase body heat and fluid loss
- keep your home cool with curtains, shutters, or awnings on the sunny sides and open windows at night
- if you don't have air conditioning, use fans, damp clothing and have frequent cool showers
- spend as much time as possible in air conditioned buildings (e.g. shopping centres, galleries, museums)
- avoid direct sunlight. Wear a hat and sunscreen as sunburn limits your ability to cope with heat
- if you work outside, keep hat and clothing damp
- don't leave children or pets in parked vehicles
- if you suffer chronic illness or feel ill, see a doctor
- keep animals in the shade with plenty of water
Although everyone is vulnerable to the effects of a heatwave, those most at risk are:
- children under four years of age
- older people
- people with a chronic condition or illness
- overweight people
- people who undertake vigorous exercise
Look after yourself, but also check on sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives.
Never leave a child or a pet alone in a hot car. On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 30 to 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. That means on a 30 degree day, the temperature inside the car can be as high as 70 degrees.
For more information about heat waves, visit the Queensland Government website.
For information about heat waves and your health, visit the Queensland Health website.