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Keep cool in the heat

20 Jan 2021

 

With high temperatures forecast for the week ahead, it’s important to remember the impact extreme heat can have on your health.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Public Health, Dr Victor Carey says planning ahead is the best way to keep cool and stay healthy this summer.

“Preparation is key to surviving the hotter months ahead. Keeping up fluids, checking the daily weather, remaining in shade and reducing physical activity during the heat of the day are some of the many things you can do to stay healthy in the heat and out of your local emergency department,” says Dr Carey.

During extremely hot weather, it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat. Exposure to high temperatures can lead to life-threatening heat-related illness such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. More commonly, heat can make existing chronic illness worse. This can have equally serious consequences such as inducing a heart attack in someone who has a heart condition.

Heat affects everyone differently and some people can be at greater risk than others.  People are reminded to check on the welfare of others, especially on hotter days.

“Pregnant women, those who are overweight, babies and young children, people with a chronic health condition and in particular the elderly are more susceptible to heat related illness. Please check in on your family, friends or relatives who may be vulnerable to see if they are managing well,” says Dr Carey. 

If you or someone you care for is showing signs of severe heat related symptoms, please visit a GP or the emergency department.

Dr Carey’s recommendations to beat the heat include:

  • drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic, sugary and caffeinated drinks
  • whenever possible seek out shade, shelter in air conditioned places or sit yourself near an electric fan
  • closing windows, doors, curtains and blinds at home during the day and opening them in the cool of the night can keep your home a little cooler
  • regularly check on others especially elderly friends and family, pregnant women, children, babies and those who are already unwell or have chronic health conditions.

More information and tips can be found on the NSW Health Beat the Heat website.