An extreme heatwave is going to roast the country over the next three days, with temperatures hitting the high 30s across most of the country. Some parts of the country are going to cop even higher, with some parts of South Australia and New South Wales expected to soar well over 40 at the weekend.
The usual health warnings have been issued about the danger of heatwaves, but there’s one piece of advice most of us have never heard. And that is the danger of drinking too much water.
Dr. Zac Turner says drinking too much water during a heatwave can prove just as dangerous as drinking too little water. He told David Campbell and Sonia Kruger on Today Extra that it’s called “over-hydration”.
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Dr. Turner says the amount of water you need to drink to stay hydrated is different for each individual. “If you’re going to be drinking a lot of water each day, and especially if it’s hot, make sure you have it with some electrolytes,” he said.
Dr. Turner explains if you start to feel nauseous or start getting cramps, then you need to drink some water, but don’t forget to have a piece of fruit as well.
“Make sure you combine it with either some fruit, some oranges or if you can get some of the electrolyte drinks, they’re also really important because you need some of the salts and some of the sugars because there’s such a thing as too much water, and that’s really dangerous as well,” he continued.
Here are more of his tips for getting through a heatwave:
Get a buddy, and look after each other;
Stay out of the sun if you can;
Eat small, healthy meals;
Drink less alcohol and coffee because they can dehydrate you;
Look out for your animals, look out for the kids, look out for each other.
He says the elderly are the most at risk during a heatwave as well as the very young. He says he hopes the community looks after each other during times when our most vulnerable are at risk, telling Sonia Kruger and David Campbell on Today Extra to keep an eye on elderly neighbours.
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“If you do live next to a neighbour with kids or next to a neighbour who’s elderly – with these really hot temperatures – it’d be great to just go knock on the door and just make sure that they’re doing okay or if you know of your neighbours who have a dog or something like that as well,” he continued.
For those who plan to cool off at the beach or at the local pools, Dr. Turner says to give the beach and the pools a miss during the time of the day when the heat is at it’s highest.
“Try not to be at the beach or in the sun during the hottest parts of the day. That’s just silly. So try and treat yourself to a movie, go to the shops and chill out, go to a library where it’s cool, stay at home where you can use your air-con if you have that,” he said.