17 November 2023

People across NSW are being urged to plan ahead to ‘Beat the Heat’ ahead of what is forecast to be a hot summer.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant today launched NSW Health’s Beat the Heat campaign, spreading important information about how to keep healthy in hot weather.

“Extreme heat can cause severe illnesses and can be life threatening,” Dr Chant said.

“Ahead of what is expected to be a hot summer, we ask our community to ensure they are prepared, know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and take action to keep cool during heatwaves.

"There are a few simple things you can do to keep safe, like staying indoors during the hottest times of the day, closing doors, windows, blinds and curtains early to keep hot air and sun out in the day, staying hydrated and carrying a water bottle when outside.

"If it's hard to keep cool at home, plan to spend the day somewhere cooler, which might include public spaces like shopping centres, libraries or air-conditioned community venues.”

Signs of heat-related illness can include headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and cramps. People with these symptoms should cool down right away, move out of the sun and seek shade or air conditioning, take a cool shower or bath if possible and take sips of water.

People who don’t respond to these steps or who show symptoms suggesting a more severe illness, including a sudden rise in body temperature, who are no longer sweating, showing aggressive or strange behaviour or who are fitting, should seek urgent medical attention or call Triple Zero (000).

NSW Ambulance Associate Director of Clinical Practice, Marty Nichols, explained that people should also keep an eye on their neighbours in periods of warmer weather.

“I encourage everyone to keep a close eye on more vulnerable members of our community, particularly the elderly or those with chronic medical conditions when the weather is hot,” Mr Nichols said.

“Parents and carers should also keep a particularly close eye on babies and young children as they can be more sensitive to the heat.”

People are encouraged to read Beat the Heat information on the NSW.gov.au website for further advice and tips on how to protect themselves and their loved ones during heatwaves this summer.

With heat comes the risk of bushfires and poor air quality due to bushfire smoke. People in impacted areas are encouraged to check the air quality​​​​​ where they live and to follow associated health advice​​ when planning their daily activities.