Heatwaves have become a serious public health issue, causing more deaths in Australia in the past 200 years, than any other natural hazard. Extreme heat events are becoming an increasingly common occurrence throughout Western Australia. Associated with these events is the projected increase in the number of heat related deaths and consequential impacts on community, infrastructure and services.
People in the community who are most at risk include:
- People 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Babies and young children
- Anyone taking medication or with a medical condition that makes it hard to regulate body temperature
- Anyone impacted by environmental factors such as homelessness, outdoor workers or sports people
In hot weather take the steps below to stay safe and healthy:
- Visit the Heatwave Knowledge Centre on the Bureau of Meteorology website. Check the forecast and plan ahead.
- Visit the Australian Red Cross heatstroke and heat exhaustion webpage to learn about the signs, symptoms and treatment of heatstroke and heat exhaustion so you can help yourself and others when the temperature soars.
- Visit the Healthy WA website for information on how to plan ahead for the heat, and how to cope with the heat.
- Keep babies and children safe from dehydration by encouraging the drinking of plenty of water. Watch for dark urine and check the frequency of nappy changes.
- Ensure your pets are well hydrated and have plenty of shady spots outside.
Heat exhaustion is a condition caused by your body overheating. Left untreated, it can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition that occurs when your core body temperature reaches 40 degrees celsius or higher. If you or someone you know shows signs of heat stroke, including fits, confusion and staggering, call 000 immediately.
Where to get help