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AMA warns of the dangers of the Victorian summer heat wave

3 January 2013

AMA Victoria is pleading with Victorians to be sun smart during the pending heat wave.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the heat wave will only be the start of a long, hot and dry summer. They are suggesting it could be the hottest summer in decades.

“The chances that the average summer maximum temperature will exceed the long-term median maximum temperature are between 60 and 75% across Victoria this summer, said the Bureau.

AMA Victoria Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, said vigilance is needed to avoid heat illness.

“Summer can be a very dangerous time, especially for the elderly and children; they need a cool environment and have to remain hydrated. Keep out of the heat and keep the fluids up, Dr Bartone said.

AMA Victoria warns of the dangers of heat-related illnesses. Excessive dehydration and sun exposure are common causes of heat illness. They can lead to dizziness and fainting and more dangerous circumstances, particularly in the very young and old. More severe cases can lead to hospitalisation and be life threatening.

“Every year hospitals and GPs are inundated with patients seeking medical assistance as a result of over exposure to the sun and heat. If you feel faint or light-headed it’s time to relax and take it easy, prevention is better than cure,’ said Dr Bartone.

With the temperature tipped to peak over 40 degrees on Friday and expected several other days this summer, AMA Victoria advises parents and carers to never leave the elderly, babies and young children unattended, even for a moment and please check on friends and neighbours if you haven’t heard from them.

GP and AMA Victoria Vice President, Dr Tony Bartone, is available to comment.

For further information please contact Luke Buesnel on 0437 450 506.

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