Southern DHB’s Public Health team are urging the public to ‘Keep their Cool’ during this spate of very hot weather.

“The heatwave will be with us for at least the next week with extremely hot temperatures forecast across the district,” says Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Keith Reid. “Older people, children and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of the impacts of heat stress.”

Dr Reid is reminding people to take precautions to keep cool, with regular fluid intake at least two litres of water a day and to stay out of the sun. 

“If you have to be in the sun please make sure you’re SunSmart. It’s simple – SLIP on a T-shirt, SLOP on sunscreen (use at least SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen), SLAP on a hat (broad-brimmed or bucket hats), and wear WRAP-on sunglasses.

“Outdoor workers might want to consider changing working patterns to get more outside work done in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler.”

As well as being safe in the sun and keeping hydrated Public Health are also advising people to keep their houses cool by opening windows to get a breeze, closing curtains to keep the sun out and consider using the cool cycle on heat pumps.

“We also ask you to check that vulnerable neighbours are doing okay – these might be older folks or those with medical conditions that might make them more susceptible to the effects of heat,” says Dr Reid. “And don’t forget those, such as farmers, who might be feeling the effects of the heat in other ways – a check that they’re doing okay could be a lifesaver.

“We’re also reminding people to be particularly careful about the effects of drinking alcohol in the hot weather. Far from quenching your thirst it will speed up dehydration, so make water your first choice.”

Messages for the public to help ‘Keep their Cool’

  • Keep hydrated – drink at least two litres of water at day
  • Stay out of the sun
  • If you have to go in the sun be SunSmart
  • SLIP on a T-shirt
  • SLOP on sunscreen (use at least SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen)
  • SLAP on a hat (broad-brimmed or bucket hats)
  • Wear WRAP-on sunglasses.
  • Limit alcohol intake, it will speed up dehydration – rehydrate with water first
  • Keep your house cool – open windows and use curtains and blinds for shade
  • Look out for others in your community who might be affected by the heat.