Heat wave prompts warning for groups in community
HEATWAVE conditions predicted for the Clarence Valley for the next three days have prompted a health warning mainly for the elderly and people living alone.
NSW Health has put in place a Heatwave Action Plan for the next four days, with extreme heatwave conditions over the North and Mid-north Coasts.
The Bureau of Meteorology said temperatures are expected to exceed 35°C in many parts of northern NSW, with overnight temperatures above 20° through to the end of the weekend.
A slow-moving cool change approaching south-west NSW on Thursday is not expected to clear the North Coast until Monday.
A NSW Health spokesperson said everyone needed to take care in
hot weather, but some people were at higher risk
of heat illness, especially
if they were older, lived alone or were socially isolated.
Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating.
People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or local emergency department.
NSW Health also recommends the following actions during extreme heat conditions:
- Check on the welfare of older people or neighbours living alone.
- Keep the sun out by shading windows with curtains, blinds or closing shutters.
- Keep windows closed during the day until it cools down and in early morning. 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 such as cotton.
- When outdoors, stay protected from the sun by wearing a hat and sunscreen.
The hot weather has been good for some businesses, like I Scream in Grafton, where the lure of a cold ice cream cone or a sorbet has been irresistible.
"It's the perfect way to cool down from the inside out," said the business's co-owner Robyn Smith.
"The sorbets have been going great, because they're quite refreshing.
"We've had the air conditioning on, so it's been very popular for people to come in to refresh themselves."
Mrs Smith said putting 40 solar panels on the roof has also paid dividends.
"Knowing the sun is powering the freezers and the air conditioning is a great feeling," she said.
NSW Health has advised people should take simple precautions to ensure they stay healthy in the heat. They include:
- Stay well hydrated;
- Avoid alcohol and hot or sugary drinks;
- Limit your physical activity; and,
- Try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
- If you can, it's a good idea to spend some time in an air-conditioned building.
For more information please refer to the Beat the Heat website: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/default.aspx