Tips to beat Perth's hot weather

2 December 2019

As the weather warms up in December, take precautions to avoid heat stress. Following a few simple steps will reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

Preventing heat stress

Heat stress occurs when your body cannot cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature (37 °C). When it is very hot, you may be at increased risk of heat stress.

Precautions against heat stress are particularly important for the elderly, young children and babies, whose bodies cannot always regulate temperature changes efficiently.

Heat-related illnesses range from mild symptoms, such as a rash or cramps, to very serious conditions including heat stroke.

If you experience severe symptoms – dry red hot skin, high body temperature, nausea, and rapid heart rate – seek urgent medical advice.

To help prevent heat-related illness:

  • Check on older, sick and frail people who may need help dealing with heat.
  • Never leave anyone – even briefly – in a closed car, including pets. Temperatures inside a car can rise to more than 60 °C in just a few minutes.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids (If your doctor normally limits your fluids or you are on fluid tablets, check how much to drink while the weather is hot).
  • Limit or avoid alcohol.
  • Stay indoors, if possible in air-conditioning.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Apply sunscreen at regular intervals while outdoors.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Avoid outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day.
  • If possible, stay in shaded areas when outdoors.
  • Don't rely on fans unless there is adequate ventilation.