CHILDREN MAY BE AT RISK DURING HEAT WAVES

Category:
Thursday 13 December 2018
MEDIA RELEASE



Extreme heat is a killer! More people have died during extreme heat than in any natural disaster. During the 2009 heatwave in Victoria 374 people died of heat related illnesses.

As Victoria braces for soaring temperatures in the coming day / week/s ahead, Mayor CEO Jan Child said it was important to take a moment to think about how you, your family and those in your care can stay safe in the heat.

‘This year, we’re expecting a long hot summer, and that sadly means more deaths from extreme heat. It’s a sobering fact, but extreme heat kills more people in Australia than any natural disaster,’ said Ms Child.

 

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are serious conditions occurring when the body’s temperature rises and the internal organs start to shut down. Symptoms of heat exhaustion range from muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea to vomiting and fainting.

 

The risk of heat stress is higher for young children, as they get hotter faster than adults and their bodies are less able to regulate temperature. They are also less likely to be able to tell you they are dehydrated.

 

‘There are simple things people can do prevent their children from dehydration, heat stress or worse.  Make sure they are drinking water rather than sport drinks or fruit juices and if you’re worried they might be dehydrated, ask them when they last went to the toilet. If it’s been a few hours then they’re not drinking enough, if it’s been over six hours then they are likely to be dehydrated.’

 

‘Also, NEVER leave kids, pets or adults in a parked car. The temperature inside a car can double within minutes and can lead to heat exhaustion and death.’

She encouraged Bass Coast residents to make the most of cooler, public spaces if they could not stay cool at home.

“For really hot days, if you don’t have air conditioning, consider visiting a friend who does, or an air-conditioned shopping centre or public library.

 ‘If you or your kids feel unwell on a hot day call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24, or call 000 in an emergency,’ she said.