15 January 2019

NSW Health is reminding people to be cautious during the extreme heatwave conditions that are forecast for the rest of this week.

Director of Environmental Health, Dr Richard Broome, urged people to stay indoors during the heat of the day, minimise physical activity and keep hydrated during the heatwave.

“We’re expecting temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius for much of the state until Saturday, so once again I’d encourage everyone to take the risk of heat related illness seriously,” Dr Broome said.

“We know that conditions like these can cause severe illness, hospital admission and even deaths.

“Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat stress and heat stroke. It can also make underlying health conditions worse.

“People over 75, people with chronic medical conditions and people who live alone are particularly vulnerable.

“Simple precautions can reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

“It’s best to try and avoid the heat of the day by staying indoors. If you don’t have air conditioning, using a fan and keeping curtains shut can help to keep you cool. It’s also important to minimise physical activity and to drink plenty of water.

“It’s also really important to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives because they may be more vulnerable to the heat.

“Signs of heat-related illness include dizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or cramps, headache, changes in skin colour, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion.”

Dr Broome said it’s important to get to a cool place quickly if symptoms occur. People showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention, in an emergency situation call Triple Zero (000).

More information can be found at Beat the heat.