31 January 2020
With severe to extreme heatwave conditions forecast for much of NSW, NSW Health is reminding people to take action to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Heatwave conditions through to Sunday are expected to see temperatures climb into the mid-40s in western Sydney, with limited relief overnight.

NSW Health Director of Environmental Health, Dr Richard Broome, said people should take extra care to keep cool by staying indoors during the heat of the day and minimising physical activity.

“Staying indoors, drinking plenty of water and keeping exercise to a minimum can reduce the risk of heat-related illness,” said Dr Broome.

“Even though Australians are used to hot weather, we know that conditions like those forecast cause severe and even life-threatening illness.

“Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat stress and heat stroke. It may also make underlying conditions worse. People over the age of 75, people with chronic conditions and those who live alone are most vulnerable.

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

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 closed;
  • keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water;
  • check on the welfare of vulnerable neighbours, friends and family; and
  • plan ahead for hot days.

“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 Broome said.

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