Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires urgent attention - call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. Meanwhile, give the person sips of cool fluid if possible and lower their body temperature any way you can. Do not give aspirin or paracetamol to someone with heatstroke.
If you have health concerns during a heat wave, contact your doctor or for 24-hour health advice call Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24.
Heatwave and heat-related illness
A heatwave is an extended period of very high temperatures, often with humidity. Excessive heat is when the temperature stays close to 10 degrees above the average temperature.
Heatwaves can affect anybody, including the young and healthy, but there are certain people more at risk. People over 65 years old, people with a chronic medical condition or disability, and people living alone or socially isolated are at higher risk.
Heat-related illness can occur when the body is unable to adequately cool itself. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but sometimes sweating isn’t enough and the body temperature keeps rising.
Extreme hot weather can cause heat-related illnesses, such as rash or heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke which may be fatal. Heat can worsen the condition of someone who already has a medical condition such as heart disease.
Advice for staying safe
Check the weather forecast
Check the Bureau of Meteorology for current and forcast temperatures.
Heat Health Alerts
The Chief Health Officer issues heat health alerts to advise the community when a period of hot weather is predicted that can impact on human health, community infrastructure (such as the power supply and public transport), and services. See the current heat health alert status.
Total fire ban days
Total fire ban aims to reduce the activities that may start a fire. It sets legal restrictions on what activities can or cannot occur in a particular district. There are nine districts in Victoria and Moreland is part of the Central District. For more information about fire bans, visit the Country Fire Authority.
Things to do when it's hot
Prevention is always the best way to manage heat-related illness. Plan ahead for hot days and think about where you can go when the heat hits.
Check on your neighbours, friends and family
Consider family members, friends or neighbours who may need extra assistance in planning for hot days
Check on friends and neighbours when it is hot, especially if they are elderly or alone. For information on how to help others during a heatwave, see Get to know your neighbours (DOC 58Kb) or Get to know your neighbours (PDF 215Kb).
Keep out of the heat
Stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest part of the day, 10 am - 3 pm.
Do activity that requires effort during the cooler parts of the day before 10 am, like exercise or gardening.
If you are outside wear a hat and light loose fitting clothes, preferably natural fibres.
Go to an air-conditioned building in your local area to cool off, such as a shopping mall or swimming pool.
Splash yourself several times a day with cold water, especially your face and the back of your neck - a loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck can also help you stay cool.
Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows using external shades or light-coloured curtains.
Ensure there is enough air circulation, either from an air conditioner or by leaving a secured window or door open.
Drink regularly, even if you do not feel thirsty - water and fruit juice are best
Avoid alcohol, tea and coffee and sugary drinks as they make dehydration worse.
Eat small, regular meals rather than large meals, with more cold food, such as salads and fruit that contain water.
Keep an eye out on people who are sleeping rough
Extreme hot weather conditions can have an impact on people who are sleeping rough. If you notice a rough sleeper who may be impacted by the hot weather, please advise Vincent Care on 9304 0100 or 1800 825 955 after hours.
Never leave people in a hot car
Do not leave people (or pets) in a hot, parked car, especially children. There are no excuses and no exceptions.
Look after your pets
Ensure there is water inside and out and plenty of shade in the backyard
Pavement heat can be intense and can burn - don't walk a dog on a hot pavement
On very hot days allow your pet to stay inside, especially older pets, with water available, and
Ensure that other pets, such as birds, ferrets, rabbits and guinea pigs, have shade and water.
Contact your local doctor for advice or call 000 in an emergency if you or someone else is suffering heat-related symptoms, such as fits, confusion or staggering, call 000 immediately.