29 December 2018

​NSW Health has renewed its warning to the community today as higher than expected ozone pollution reaches Sydney and heat effects many parts of NSW.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty, NSW Health Executive Director, reminded the community to be also prepared and to look after each other with the rising heat.

“Ozone can irritate the lungs, so people with asthma need to follow their Asthma Action Plan and have their relieving medication with them,” said Dr McAnulty.

“Ozone levels are higher outdoors than indoors, so limiting time outside during the heat of the day and in the evening helps people to keep cool and limit their exposure to ozone pollution.”

As the ongoing heatwave remains a concern, the community is also reminded to avoid overheating.

“It’s important to keep up water intake, stay cool and avoid strenuous physical activity in the heat of the day,” Dr McAnulty said.

“Heat places a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”

Dr McAnulty explained that it was also very important to be aware of vulnerable members of the community like the elderly, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and those who live alone.

“During hot weather, it’s important to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives, because helping them do basic chores to keep them out of the heat could make a life-saving difference,” he said.

Initial signs of heat-related illness may include faintness and dizziness, irritability, thirst, dark urine, headaches and later changes in skin colour, rapid pulse and shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion.

Dr McAnulty said it’s important to drink plenty of water and quickly cool down if symptoms occur. People showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention.

More information can be found at the dedicated page on the NSW Health website: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat