effects of persistent bushfire smoke and soaring temperatures means vulnerable
people should take extra precautions, Dr Richard Broome, Director of
Environmental Health said today.
“Hot weather and poor air quality are a
recipe for severe illness unless people take simple precautions,” Dr Broome
“We are urging people to avoid being
outside during the hottest part of the day, to minimise physical activity, to keep
well hydrated and reduce their exposure to smoky air.
“Hot weather puts a lot of strain on
the body, causes dehydration and can make underlying health conditions worse.
It also causes heat stress and heat stroke.
“Compounded by the continued impact of
smoky air from bushfires, it’s important that people are prepared, particularly
people with underlying medical and respiratory conditions.
“It’s best to stay indoors during the
hottest part of the day, which is generally from about 11am to 4pm. Staying
indoors also protects you from bushfire smoke. If you don’t have air
conditioning, using a fan can cool you down and keeping curtains shut helps to
keep the heat out of your home. 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,” he said.
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).
can be found at the NSW Health website: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat