The hot weather, which is forecast to rise above 35 degrees, has health experts worried.
The hot weather, which is forecast to rise above 35 degrees, has health experts worried. Scott Powick

Extreme heatwave conditions for the North Coast

THE next few days leading up to New Year's are set to be a scorcher, with extreme heatwave conditions developing on the North and Mid-North Coast and temperatures forecast to soar above 35 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Stephen Lellyett has revealed the somewhat unwelcome news, which has health experts worried.

"A prolonged period of hot, humid northerly winds will bring severe heatwave conditions to parts of NSW.

"Centres east of the Great Divide, particularly in the North Coast area, will see overnight temperatures above 20 degrees with daytime maximums above 35 degrees through to the end of the weekend," Mr Lellyett said.

Temperatures are not expected to cool until next Monday, January 2.

NSW Health have warned of the potential health risks associated with the predicted weather.

"Heat-related illness ranges from mild conditions to very serious medical emergencies," said Paul Corben, Director of the North Coast Public Health Unit.

"During hot weather, it's important to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives and to look out for other vulnerable members of the community.

"Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It can also make underlying health conditions worse."

Vulnerable members of the community include older people, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and those who live alone.

Mr Corben adds it is absolutely essential children and pets are not left in cars, as they will become distressed and seriously ill in a matter of minutes.

This warning sadly echoes the recent passing of a 3-year-old girl who was left in a car in Glenwood, Sydney.

To remain safe and healthy during the upcoming heat, NCPH lists the following precautions:

  • Drink plenty of water, and remember to carry some with you when out and about.
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.
  • Plan your day around the heat and minimise physical activity.
  • Keep the sun out by shading windows with curtains, blinds or closing shutters.
  • Keep windows closed during the day until it cools down.
  • If you don't have an air-conditioner, try to spend time in an air-conditioned place like a shopping centre, library or cinema.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton.
  • When outdoors, stay protected from the sun by wearing a hat and sunscreen.

Keep a look-out for signs of heat-related illness, which include nausea, vomiting, faintness and dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, headaches, loss of sweating and reduced urine output.

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