The duration of excessive heat plays an important role in how people are affected by a heat wave. Extreme heat can cause illness and death and can affect anyone at any time. For example; heat rash, cramps, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke/sunstroke.
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Babies and infants, older people, those with pre-existing medical conditions or on certain medications, and people living alone are more at risk. Pets and livestock are also susceptible.
- Stay out of the sun, avoid extreme physical exertion and drink lots of water.
- Put sun safety practices into action.
- Wear loose, cool clothing.
- Keep your home cool by opening windows to catch the breeze and keeping curtains or blinds closed to keep the sun out.
- Do not to leave anyone, particularly children, older people or pets alone in parked cars.
- If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours, and try to stay out of the sun.
- Seek medical help if feeling weak or dizzy or if having intense thirst or a headache.
Contact Healthline for advice from trained registered nurses by calling freephone 0800 611 116.
- Heat health plans - Ministry of Health
- Cooling down this summer - Consumer NZ
Updated 29 Aug, 2022