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Preparing for a heatwave

What is it?

A heatwave is when there are more than three days in a row with a temperature above 34 degrees. It often happens during the summer months. It is easy to become overheated and dehydrated during a heatwave. Heatwaves can cause heat-related illnesses, such as:

Heat rash: Very itchy, red skin. It often affects the armpits, chest and elbow creases. It is not serious and can be treated at home.
Heat cramps: Painful involuntary muscle spasms in the arms and legs. This can happen when you exercise in a hot environment.
Heat exhaustion: The body’s response to losing too much water and salt through sweating. If it is not treated, it can turn into heatstroke.
Heatstroke: This is very serious and can lead to death. Call triple zero (000) if you or someone you know has symptoms of heatstroke.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • What symptoms should I look out for?
  • How do I stay safe in the heat?
  • What will I need during a heatwave?

What can I do?

  • You should prepare yourself and your home before the hot weather starts. Doing these things will help:
  • Talk to your GP about how heat might affect you, any medical condition you have and the medications you take
  • Check the radio, TV, and online news regularly for information and advice during extreme hot weather
  • Talk to your family, neighbours and friends during a heatwave in case you or they need help
  • Make sure you have enough supplies to stay cool and drink water
  • Think about changing your plans if they are outdoors


What supports are available?

Where can I learn more?

Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.

Health Resource Directory factsheets are endorsed by South Western Sydney PHN’s Community Advisory Committee and local GPs

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