Health boss delivers heatwave warning but don't forget pets
MID North Coast Local Health District is urging Coffs Coast residents to take the risk of heat-related illness seriously with hot weather predicted.
The prediction is the temperature will top 33 degrees in Coffs Harbour today, rising to 34 degrees on Sunday, with strong northerly winds across the weekend..
Health District CEO Stewart Dowrick said that while heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable.
"These include the over-75s, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and people who live alone," he said.
"Australians are accustomed to hot weather and generally consider themselves resilient to such conditions.
"However, every year, hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths.
"During hot weather, it is very important to stay in regular contact with your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and to look out for other vulnerable members of your 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.
"However, being prepared and taking some simple precautions can reduce the risk of heat-related illness."
Drink plenty of water and remember to carry some with you when you're out and about.
Try to stay out of the heat as much as possible after about 11am and avoid physical activity as much as possible.
"Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating," Mr Dowrick said.
"People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or local emergency department."
Mr Dowrick said special care should be taken with children and pets, especially when motoring.
"It is absolutely essential that children and pets are not left in cars," he added.
"They will become distressed and seriously ill in a matter of minutes."