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Beat the Heat: Your Ultimate Guide to Stay Cool and Safe This Summer! [Infographic + Video]

As the summer sun turns up the heat, it's essential to arm yourself with knowledge to stay cool and safe.


In this blog article, we'll explore the ins and outs of summer heat, understanding the risks of heat-related illnesses, and practical tips to keep you at your best.




 

1.     Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion


Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are serious conditions. Let's break down the causes and symptoms of those two common heat-related challenges:


Heat Stroke: The Silent Threat


Causes: Heat stroke is a severe condition resulting from prolonged exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. The body's cooling mechanisms become overwhelmed, causing a rapid increase in body temperature.


Symptoms:

  •    Rapid, elevated body temperature.

  •    Hot, dry skin, and a lack of sweating.

  •    Confusion, dizziness, or unconsciousness.


Heat Exhaustion: A Warning Sign 


Causes: Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, characterised by excessive sweating and dehydration. It can also result from strenuous activity and certain health conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory issues, which can heighten susceptibility.


Symptoms:

  •    Heavy sweating and weakness.

  •    Nausea, dizziness, and rapid but weak pulse.

  •    A precursor to heat stroke, it demands prompt attention.



2. Sunburn: Guarding Against the Burn


‘You can feel the sun's heat but you can’t feel UV radiation, which is why it can still harm your skin on cool, cloudy days’ — Healthify

Understanding that any level of sunburn, whether mild or severe, can lead to enduring skin damage and create conditions for the emergence of skin cancers is paramount.


For a comprehensive guide on self-checks for skin cancer, please download the file below.


Skin Cancer Self-check
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.37MB

Taking proactive measures to prevent sunburn and effectively managing its effects are crucial for your skin health.


Prevention:


  • Sunscreen is Key: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, even on cloudy days.

  • Cover Up: Wear protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves to shield your skin.

  • Seek Shade: Limit direct sun exposure, especially during peak UV hours (10 am to 4 pm).

 

Managing Sunburn:

 

  • Cool Compresses: Apply cool compresses or take cool baths to soothe the affected area.

  •  Hydrate: Drink extra fluids to replenish lost moisture due to sun exposure.

  • Avoid the Sun: Give your skin time to heal by staying out of the sun until the burn fades.

  • Over-the-Counter Remedies: Use aloe vera or over-the-counter creams to relieve discomfort.

Recognising the Signs of Sunburn
Recognising the Signs of Sunburn

3. Embrace a Cool Summer: Essential Guide to Heat Safety


As the summer sun graces us with its warmth, it's time to soak in the joys of the season while prioritising your well-being.



  1. Stay Hydrated: Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.

  2. Take Breaks: Schedule regular breaks to rest and cool down, especially during outdoor activities.

  3. Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for light-coloured, loose-fitting attire to shield yourself from the sun.

  4. Apply Sunscreen: Protect your skin by applying sunscreen with a high SPF before heading outdoors.

  5. Use Cooling Products: Embrace cooling towels, fans, or other products to regulate body temperature.

  6. Know the Signs: Listen to your body with the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as dizziness and nausea.

  7. Emergency Contact List: Keep a list of emergency contacts readily available in case of any health concerns.


4. Working Safely in Extreme Temperatures


The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) mandates the comprehensive management of all risks, including those related to working in extreme temperatures, to the extent reasonably achievable.


For more information, please see WorkSafe for Good practice guidelines.



5. How to Treat Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion [Video]


Explore practical insights on treating heat stroke and heat exhaustion in video below.



By arming yourself with this knowledge and adopting simple yet effective strategies, you can beat the summer heat and ensure a season filled with cool comfort and safety.


Stay hydrated, stay cool, and enjoy the sunshine responsibly!


 

Further Information

Sunburn - Better Health Chanel

Sun safety apps – Healthify NZ

4 ways to cool your home in summer - Consumer NZ

 

Reference

“Heat stroke and heat exhaustion.” (2021, Jan 13). Healthify. https://healthify.nz/health-a-z/h/heat-stroke-and-heat-exhaustion/ 

“Sunburn.” (2023, Nov 17). Healthify. https://healthify.nz/health-a-z/s/sunburn/

“Skin cancer.” (2022, Aug 03). Healthify. https://healthify.nz/health-a-z/s/skin-cancer/ 

“Sunscreen.” (2022, Nov 27). Healthify. https://healthify.nz/hauora-wellbeing/s/sunscreen/

“Emergency Management.” (n.d.). Toi Te Ora. https://toiteora.govt.nz/public/emergency-management/

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