Jan 24
Don’t Get Barbecued Over Australia Day Long Weekend

The Western NSW Local Health District is urging residents to beat the heat, stay hydrated and avoid sunburn during the Australia Day long weekend.

Temperatures over much of the LHD during the next four days are expected to reach the mid to high 30’s in centres including Dubbo, Nyngan, Trangie and Cobar with a forecast of 39 degrees in Bourke on Friday.

These hot days mirror the heatwave conditions experienced across much of the state in recent weeks, with a small number of people being treated for heat-related illnesses at local health facilities during this time.

“The Australia Day long weekend is typically a great time to have barbecues, play some cricket in the backyard and enjoy time with friends and family. However, with a few simple precautions, these events don’t have to lead to anyone requiring medical treatment,” said Dr Therese Jones, Director of Population Health for the Western NSW LHD.

“Residents are generally heeding the message to keep cool, stay well-hydrated, check on your friends (particularly the elderly) and plan your day to avoid the heat.

“Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate and shallow breathing. Those suffering severe symptoms should seek medical treatment,” she added.

Certain people are at higher risk than others of suffering from heat related illness, including those who are aged over 75 years, overweight, pregnant, breastfeeding, work outside, exercise in the heat, or have a medical illness.

Tips to remember during the hot weather to avoid illness include: 

*         Drink plenty of water

*         Minimise physical activity

*         Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks

*         Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton

*         Take cool showers or baths

*         Cool your house by shading windows and shutting curtains

*         If you have an air-conditioner, make sure it is working before you need it

*         If you don't have air-conditioning, spend time in a cool place like a library, shopping centre or cinema.

*         Try to go early, so you're not outside in the middle of the day

 

Staying hydrated, especially while consuming alcohol and playing sport in the sun is particularly important.

For further information in keeping cool this long weekend, please use the following websites:

Beat the Heat: 

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/beat_the_heat/Pages/default.aspx

Safety for children in the sun (playing sports etc):

http://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/sites/kidshealth.chw.edu.au/files/safety-factsheets/sun-safety-and-heat-stroke.pdf

http://www.ambulance.qld.gov.au/publications/pdf/2259QAS_Heat%20Stress.pdf