Stay Safe this Summer: Heat Stroke

Timboon Ambulance Team Leader Chris Stewart is urging locals and visitors to the area this Summer to stay safe and look after each other.

Mr Stewart is also a member of Timboon and District Healthcare Service’s (TDHS) Board of Directors and said remaining vigilant about COVID-19 was first and foremost this Summer.


We have a La Niña weather pattern this Summer which likely means it will be hot and humid, which is when our cooling systems don’t work so well.

In conditions like this we all need to maintain a high level of hydration to stay safe. If people are exerting themselves in the heat, water is great but some sort of electrolyte drink is even better. Sports drinks are okay, but something like Hydralyte is even better.

The elderly are more susceptible to heat stroke because their urge to drink is far reduced. They are less likely to feel thirsty and hungry and more likely to be unable to cope and naturally regulate their body temperature.

Unfortunately, we find many elderly people have air conditioners but don’t want to turn them on because of the power costs. The cheapest way to run air conditioners and reverse cycle systems is to turn them on early in the day and let them tick away and keep the room cool, rather than waiting until it is hot and then trying to cool it down.

Importantly, I ask families with elderly relatives not nearby to organise a neighbour or friend to physically visit them and see how they are on hot days and during a heatwave. People can be very good on the phone pretending they are fine, when a face-to-face visit will quickly reveal they are not.

By Chris Stewart

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