Australians are facing more than sunburn as an intense heatwave sweeps the country.
Dehydration, heatstroke, sunburn and heart attacks are common in 40-plus temperatures and the NSW Ambulance Service warns we tend to overestimate our ability to cope in the heat.
They recommend making an extreme weather plan to get through the roasting - but when fans and Frosty Fruits fail, there are a few less conventional methods you can use to cool down.
Eat spicy food
You probably can't think of anything worse than downing a curry right now, but peppers and chillies can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth which enhances circulation and causes sweating, our natural method of self-cooling.
For those with no air conditioning there are a couple of ways you can actually cool the air rather than just move it around.
First, freeze a couple of big bottles of water and place in front of the fan you are using. The air will chill as it moves past the frozen bottles.
For a quicker method - a bowl of water, ice cubes and salt placed in front of the fan will have the same effect.
Freeze your sheets
Put your bedding in a bag and stuff in the freezer for an hour or two before you go to bed, it will stay refreshingly cold for about an hour.
To prolong your cool bedding, fill a standard hot water bottle with ice water and curl up with it. Science tells us that our head is the hottest part of the body - so wrap it in a towel and use as a pillow.
If this is a bit uncomfortable, just make sure your actual pillow is organic cotton rather than polyester, down or latex.
Hang out in the dark
Turn off the lights, shut the windows and close the curtains. Not only will it keep the actual temperature down, studies have shown that a dark room feels cooler than a well-lit room.
While you may want to throw open the windows and let a breeze in, you're better off with the windows shut and a fan on in high heat. This is because most houses will retain a cool temperature during the day if you keep out the warm air thanks to natural and artificial insulation.
Once the sun goes down, open windows wide, in particular those oriented toward prevailing winds.
Soak your clothes
If you're out and about, utilise drinking fountains and taps to wet your t-shirt. If there is any breeze it will do a much better job cooling you down through wet fabric.
Alternatively, wet sleeping clothes will enhance the cooling effect of a fan in your bedroom.
Japanese cooling foam
Head to the nearest Daiso and pick up this nifty Asian secret weapon. The spray foams create expanding air pockets that release cool air against your skin when they pop.
Some are designed to be rubbed into the arms and some can be moulded into wearable shapes.
Ice Spark is one product that sprays a freezing minus-9 degrees Celsius gel that fizzes on the skin.
Peppermint body wash
Lather up in a cool shower with peppermint-based soaps and your skin will remain cooler when you get out – this is because peppermint has a cooling anti-inflammatory effect.
Alcohol, tea, coffee and soft drinks are not your friends in the furnace. Stick with water to stay hydrated and munch on ice to cool the core a little.
The body has to work harder to metabolise alcohol, caffeine and sugar so you will actually warm up in the long-run. Oh, and probably don't run.