With high temperatures forecast across the district, Southern DHB’s Public Health team are reminding the public to ‘Keep their Cool.’

Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Jack says older people, children and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of the impacts of heat stress. “It is important for 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.”

“We also want to remind people to be careful about the effects of alcohol in hot weather as it speeds up dehydration,” says Dr Jack.

If you have to be in the sun the message is to be 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 SunSmart and keeping hydrated, residents are advised 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.

“In a heatwave we also ask you to check that vulnerable neighbours are doing okay – these might be older people or those with medical conditions that might make them more susceptible to the effects of heat,” says Dr Jack

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.

If you feel unwell and are concerned about your health, or someone else's, seek medical advice from your GP or After Hours doctors. Free medical advice is available 24/7 through Healthline, phone 0800 611 116. If it is an emergency, call 111 immediately.