Medical Advisor in Environmental Health,
Dr Adi Vyas, said as temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-40s and with
persistent poor air quality from bushfire smoke, people are urged to take extra
“Being indoors during the heat of the
day is the best way to keep cool. Minimising physical activity, staying well hydrated
are also important ways of reducing the risk of heat-related illness. Staying
indoors and reducing activity are also the best ways to reduce exposure to
smoky air,” Dr Vyas said.
“Heat puts lot of strain on the body
and can cause dehydration, heat stress and heat stroke. It can also make
underlying conditions worse. People over the age of 75, people with chronic
conditions and those who live alone are most vulnerable.
“Some signs of heat related illness
include dizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or
cramps, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion.
“We know that combined effects of
bushfire smoke and extreme temperatures have potential to cause severe illness,
hospital admissions and even death,” Dr Vyas said.
Simple precautions can reduce the risk
of heat-related illness:
- avoid the heat of the day by staying indoors and
keeping cool by using air-conditioning, fans and drawing blinds and curtains
- keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- check on vulnerable neighbours, friends and
family by telephone or in person if it is safe for them to do so
- plan ahead for hot days
“People with breathing conditions
should avoid outdoor physical activity when there’s smoke around and people
with asthma should also follow their Asthma Action Plan and carry their
relieving medication with them.
“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),” Dr Vyas said.
can be found at the NSW Health website: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat