Beat heat and smoke

With temperaturesforecast to climb to the mid-40s in parts of the state on Tuesday, NSW Healthis again reminding people to take necessary actions to keep cool to avoidoverheating.

The combinedeffects of persistent bushfire smoke and soaring temperatures means vulnerablepeople should take extra precautions, Dr Richard Broome, Director ofEnvironmental Health said today.

“Hot weather and poor air quality are arecipe for severe illness unless people take simple precautions,” Dr Broomesaid.

“We are urging people to avoid beingoutside during the hottest part of the day, to minimise physical activity, to keepwell hydrated and reduce their exposure to smoky air.

“Hot weather puts a lot of strain onthe body, causes dehydration and can make underlying health conditions worse.It also causes heat stress and heat stroke.

“Compounded by the continued impact ofsmoky air from bushfires, it’s important that people are prepared, particularlypeople with underlying medical and respiratory conditions.

“It’s best to stay indoors during thehottest part of the day, which is generally from about 11am to 4pm. Stayingindoors also protects you from bushfire smoke. If you don’t have airconditioning, using a fan can cool you down and keeping curtains shut helps tokeep the heat out of your home. It’s also important to minimise physicalactivity and to drink plenty of water.

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

“Signs of heat-related illness includedizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or cramps,headache, changes in skin colour, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting andconfusion,” he said.

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

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

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