Jan 31
Residents warned to protect against heat

High temperatures are forecast for this week across most of the State and the Health Service is urging residents to follow some simple precautions to keep cool and stay safe.

Centre for Population Health Unit in Dubbo spokesperson, Ingo Steppat, advises people of all ages to take care and avoid heat exhaustion by protecting themselves against the sun and heat.

"People need to be alert for the symptoms associated with heat exhaustion in themselves or others, especially young children and the elderly," said Mr Steppat.

"People need to make the most of shade and well ventilated areas and stay inside during the hottest part of the day," he said.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, faintness, dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, headache, and vomiting. Some may suffer from an increased body temperature or an increased breathing rate.

If any of these symptoms occur, lay the person down and apply cool, wet towels around the neck and under the arms, and have them drink cool fluids.

If the person does not respond to treatment or has severe symptoms such as confusion or collapse, immediately call 000 and ask for the Ambulance Service.

People with existing diseases or sicknesses such as heart problems, diabetes or hypertension should take extra care in the heat.

Other people who may be at risk of heat exhaustion include outdoor workers, people in workplaces with inadequate cooling systems and those undertaking strenuous physical activities.

People are also warned to be mindful that heat generated in a closed car can be fatal to children.

For more information go to the NSW Health Emergency website at http://www.emergency.health.nsw.gov.au/heat/index.asp