Heated warning for weather

The state braved a heatwave over the weekend, with temperatures topping 40 degrees in some areas. Photo: Contributed

THE state government is reminding Victorians to take care of themselves and others as people grapple with increasing temperatures.

Sunday touched 40 degrees in some parts of the state.

Minister for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas warned Victorians to look after their health, and that of their loved ones.

Most of Victoria saw the summer’s first heatwave conditions on Sunday, with Melbourne recording its hottest day since last February, while Mildura saw a staggering 44 degrees, Wodonga 40 degrees, Horsham 39 degrees and Bairnsdale got as high as 36 degrees.

Sunday’s scorcher wasn’t all the weatherman hyped it up to be for Sale, which only reached a top of 27 at 1.30pm.

Still, it was a welcome relief for many residents who enjoyed a change for what seemed like a summer of rain, taking respite in the Seaspray beaches and the local hiking trails.

Extreme heat kills more people than natural disasters – and after multiple years of cooler, wetter La Niña conditions, Victorians are reminded of the simple steps they can take to survive the heat:

Drink plenty of water, stay cool by seeking out air-conditioned buildings;

Plan ahead and schedule activities to the coolest part of the day;

If heading outdoors, seek shade when possible, wear a hat and sunscreen and avoid exercising in the heat, and;

Check in on others most at risk in the heat. People who are vulnerable to extreme heat include the elderly, babies and infants, pregnant women, people with acute or chronic health problems and people who are socially isolated.

These conditions can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, trigger heart attacks or stroke, or worsen existing conditions such as kidney or lung disease.

Children and pets are particularly vulnerable to heat if left in enclosed areas like parked cars, where temperatures can more than double within minutes, and which are often 20 to 30 degrees hotter than outside – a deadly combination for children, whose body temperatures rise much faster than adults.

Leaving the windows of a parked car down has little effect on reducing the temperature, with tests showing that when windows are left open 10 centimetres, the temperature will only reduce by five degrees.

In the event of an extreme heat period, the Department of Health will always provide information and advice to ensure Victorians know how to stay well during the heat and ways to keep cool.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or other health emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

For non-life-threatening emergencies, people can visit the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, visit a Priority Primary Care Centre, call NURSE-ON-CALL or visit a GP doctor or local pharmacist for advice.

For more tips on surviving heat, visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/survive-heat