09 February 2017
With much of NSW set to swelter through a scorching weekend, NSW Health is again urging people to keep cool and hydrated during the hot spell.
 
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting temperatures to hit over 40 degrees across NSW over the weekend, prompting health officials to remind people to guard against heat-related illness.
 
NSW Health’s Director of Environmental Health, Dr Ben Scalley, said with high temperatures forecast it was important that people kept up their water intake and avoid strenuous physical activity in the heat of the day.
 
NSW Health has had an increased number of people coming to hospital emergency departments with heat-related conditions during recent heatwaves with young men particularly presenting more often than normal.
 
“As we have seen this year, everyone can be affected by heatwaves and this includes young, fit and healthy people if they do not take appropriate precautions,” Dr Scalley said.
 
Heat places a lot of strain on the body and can interfere with blood circulation and cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
 
“Being prepared and taking simple precautions reduces the risk of heat-related illness.”
 
During hot weather, remember to:
 
  • Drink plenty of water, and remember to carry some with you when out and about.
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.
  • Plan your day around the heat, particularly in the middle of the day, and minimise physical activity.
  • Keep the sun out by shading windows with curtains, blinds or closing shutters.
  • Keep windows closed during the day until it cools down and in early morning.
  • If you don’t have an air-conditioner, try to spend time in an air-conditioned place like a shopping centre, library or cinema.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton.
  • When outdoors, stay protected from the sun by wearing a hat and sunscreen.
  • Check on elderly neighbours and relatives.
“Signs of heat-related illness may include nausea, vomiting, faintness and dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, headaches, loss of sweating and reduced urine output,” Dr Scalley said.
“People showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or the emergency department at their nearest hospital.
 
And it is absolutely essential children and pets are not left in cars. They will become distressed and seriously ill in a matter of minutes.”
 
More information about heat-health, including downloadable advice in several languages, can be found on the NSW Health website ‘Beat the Heat’:
 
Bureau of Meteorology heatwave forecasts are available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/
And BOM severe weather alert at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y51XCtIOXs
 
Temperature forecasts are available at: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/