How To Survive An Australian Summer

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Summer in Australia is hot. Bloody hot, even.

Each year the temperature seems to hit a new record and many suffer in the sweltering heat. As we head into the hottest part of the season take a minute to read these tips on surviving the next few months.

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Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Water is extremely important in the heat. It is vital to keep yourself hydrated as the heat skyrockets. A lack of water can leave you fatigued and can even cause you to pass out. Many elderly people struggle with this during the hottest days and often require help and assistance.

Keep filled water bottles in the fridge for easy access and try to keep one next to you throughout the day.


Sun Screen

It may seem silly to 'Slip! Slop! Slap!' every time you leave the house, but with such harsh rays bearing down from the sun, even a short trip in direct sunlight can cause damage.

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Skin cancer is still the leading cancer in Australia due to our time in the sun. Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. Melanomas (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) is the third most common cancer in Australians.

In 2015, 2162 people died from skin cancer in Australia. In order to avoid skin cell damage slop on some SPF30+ sunscreen. Make sure to apply 20 minutes before you go outside and then reapply every two hours while in the sun.


Bugs

Mosquitoes are one of the worst parts of summer by a mile. The sound of their buzzing whizzing past your head in the night, knowing that tomorrow you will wake up to some fresh bites is torture. In order to stay sane and get some sleep you'll need to be proactive against the little blood suckers.

Using a fan on high at night can help to deter the mozzies from landing on you due to the wind pushing them around. Switching off the lights before opening windows at night can also help to prevent them from even finding their way into your home.

If you find yourself outside in the late afternoon or night apply as much bug repellent as you can stand. Personally I swear by Aerogard to keep the bugs at bay and even have to use it sometimes before bed to get some sleep.


Pet Safety

Keeping your pets cool and healthy during the heat is very important. Animals don't regulate their temperature like we do, they can't sweat to keep themselves cool - they have to pant to expel heat.

If you pet is a long haired or fluffy coat, consider getting them a summer haircut from a dog groomer. I get my fluffy Labrador a trim every summer to help keep her cool. Breeds made for cooler climates will need to be groomed more, as their heavy coats are not made for these extreme temperatures.

Keep a source of cool water near them at all times. Pets need their water to stay hydrated just as we do, but more importantly the water needs to be cool/cold as it directly affects their body temperature. A cool drink helps to cool them down immensely.

Don't force them outside. If your inside with the air conditioner running then bring in your pets, they will enjoy it just as much as you. If you are going to leave for the day, consider leaving you pet inside with the aircon going on hot days.

It should go without saying, but just in case; DO NOT LEAVE PETS IN HOT CARS.

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They say only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, but even mad (or sad, or glad) dogs should probably stay inside when the temperature climbs too high. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can wreak utter havoc on your canine friend, but there are a few things you can do to keep your dog cool and safe this summer.

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Fire Safety

Bush fires are rampart during Australian summers, so being cautious is key to staying ahead of a disaster. Making a bush fire plan together as a family or household is crucial. Discuss what plan of action you will all take during a bush fire and delegate jobs - for example who will be in charge of gathering and getting the pets out of the house and into the car for evacuation.

Stay informed of the situation and keep an eye on your state's Rural Fire Service site for possible fires near you.

New South Wales - Queensland - Victoria - Australian Capital Territory - Western Australia - South Australia - Northern Territory - Tasmania

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Keeping Cool Without AC

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Whether you just don't have air conditioning or want to save money on energy, there are lots of ways to keep cool as the mercury rises. Here are some good ones.

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Air conditioning can be expensive and also some of us aren't as lucky to have an AC in the house. So instead to keep the house cool, here are some quick tips:

  • Keep the blinds closed - block out the sun from reaching the rooms
  • Close doors to rooms you aren't using
  • Use a fan to blow the air around
  • Stay damp and naked to keep the body temperature down
  • Take cold baths or showers

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