With the Australian summer in full swing, what can you do to survive the heat and protect yourself from the sun?
Your body needs a lot of water every day and you lose a lot of fluids through your sweat. It is recommended that you drink around three litres of cool water each day, but you should drink more when exercising and in hot weather.
Go for a swim
A swim in a shady pool or at the beach is a great way to cool down. Remember to wear sunscreen when swimming – and a hat and sunglasses if possible – as getting sunburnt can leave you feeling hot and unwell for days afterwards. Not all the effects of sunburn are visible straight away – sunburn permanently damages your skin and leaves you susceptible to skin cancer later in life.
UV radiation levels are usually highest from 10am to 3pm, so it’s always best to stay indoors during these times, even if it’s cool or cloudy outside as this doesn’t lower your risk of getting sunburnt. Staying inside with a fan or air conditioning can be an easier and cooler alternative to going outside.
Go shopping or see a movie
If you don’t have air conditioning at home, you can go out for lunch at an air-conditioned restaurant, see a movie, or go on a shopping spree to cool down.
Keep an eye on your pets and neighbours
Look out for elderly neighbours who may feel the heat more than you do. Small children also struggle to regulate their body temperature, so make sure they are wearing adequate clothing on hot days.
Make sure your pets have plenty of cool water, shelter and shade. Wait until the evening before taking your dog for a walk, and provide air conditioning if you can. Remember to never leave your pet or child in the car unattended, especially on warm days.
Slip, slop, slap!
Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world, with two out of three Australians developing skin cancer by the age of 70. Protect your skin with adequate sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing. Seek shade whenever possible and remember: there is nothing healthy about a tan.