Premier

Victorians Urged To Take Care As Temperatures Soar

31 January 2024

The Allan Labor Government is reminding Victorians to take care of themselves and others as the hottest day in a year approaches, set to blanket most of the state.

Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas today warned Victorians to look after their health, and that of their loved ones, with temperatures this weekend expected to hit the 40-degree mark in many parts of the state.

Most of Victoria will see the summer’s first heatwave conditions on Sunday, with Melbourne to hit 34 degrees – its hottest day since last February, while Mildura will see 44 degrees, Wodonga will reach 40 degrees, Horsham 39 degrees and Bairnsdale can expect 36 degrees.

Extreme heat kills more people than natural disasters – and after multiple years of cooler, wetter La Niña conditions, Victorians are reminded of the simple steps they can take to survive the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water, stay cool by seeking out air-conditioned buildings

  • Plan ahead and schedule activities to the coolest part of the day

  • If heading outdoors, seek shade when possible, wear a hat and sunscreen and avoid exercising in the heat

  • Check in on others most at risk in the heat.

People who are vulnerable to extreme heat include the elderly, babies and infants, pregnant women, people with acute or chronic health problems and people who are socially isolated. These conditions can lead to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, trigger heart attacks or stroke, or worsen existing conditions such as kidney or lung disease.

Children and pets are particularly vulnerable to heat if left in enclosed areas like parked cars, where temperatures can more than double within minutes, and which are often 20 to 30 degrees hotter than outside – a deadly combination for children, whose body temperatures rise much faster than adults.

Leaving the windows of a parked car down has little effect on reducing the temperature, with tests showing that when windows are left open 10 centimetres, the temperature will only reduce by five degrees.

In the event of an extreme heat period, the Department of Health will always provide information and advice to ensure Victorians know how to stay well during the heat and ways to keep cool. If you or someone you know is showing signs of heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or other health emergency, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

For non-life-threatening emergencies people can contact the Victorian Virtual Emergency Department, visit a Priority Primary Care Centre, call NURSE-ON-CALL or visit a GP doctor or local pharmacist for advice.

For more tips on surviving heat, visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/survive-heatExternal Link

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

“With temperatures expected to soar across the state this weekend, we’re urging Victorians to be prepared – stay hydrated, stay indoors as much as possible and make sure you check in on loved ones.”

“This weekend will be the hottest in a year – after a cooler, wetter period it’s easy to forget things like chronic conditions that could be exacerbated in the heat, or the deadly risk of leaving kids in hot parked cars.”

Reviewed 01 February 2024

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