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Extreme heat and your health

Managing your health in extreme heat

With current high temperatures and forecast heatwaves this summer, many people may suffer from the heat, which could have serious impacts on people’s health and well-being. 

We’ve put together some helpful information to help you manage your health and get through the heat in these hot weather conditions.

Heat related illnesses and those at risk

It’s very easy to become dehydrated in hot and dry conditions, so it’s important to keep hydrated and stay cool. Heat exposure can also cause heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion, or it can worsen the health of those who may suffer from existing disease or illness.

While we all need to take care in hot weather, there are some people at higher risk of heat illness, especially those who may live alone, or who live in isolated areas. Those more likely to be impacted by the heat include:

  •  the elderly
  • infants and young children
  • those who are pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
  • those who are overweight or obese
  • people with chronic or acute illness or disease
  • people who take certain medications
  • those working in heat
  • people exercising in hot conditions

How to beat the heat

NSW Health has 4 main messages for staying healthy in the heat.

 

 Keep yourself cool image  glass of water image  holding hands image  image of notepad with list of things to do

Keep cool

Drink water

Take care of others

Have a plan

  • Keep your body cool
  • Avoid the sun where possible, and seek out shade
  • Seek out public spaces that are air-conditioned, like public libraries, local clubs and association facilities, shopping centres or the cinema
  • Keep your home cool where possible, closing windows, shutting blinds and curtains
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
  • Minimise alcohol or avoid it all together
  • Carry a bottle of water with you when you're out and about
  • Check on the elderly, neighbours and relatives as well as those who may live in remote areas
  • Make sure they have access to water and air conditioning or cool places
  • Monitor children to ensure they’re drinking plenty of water
  • Never leave children or animals in a car by themselves, even if the air conditioner is on
  • Plan ahead and keep up to date with the weather forecast
  • Prepare your home in advance
  • Know who to call if you need help
  • Follow your doctor’s advice if you have any have any medical conditions

Source: NSW Health

Managing heat in the workplace

Working in heat carries risks and can be hazardous or cause harm to workers. Under WHS legislation, everyone has a responsibility to manage and minimise risk in the workplace - employers, managers, supervisors and workers.

Safe Work Australia has a useful Guide For Managing the Risks of Working in Heat, and you can also use the Heat Stress Calculator to help identify and manage the risks of heat related illnesses in the workplace.

Places to keep cool in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region

If you’re looking for ways to stay cool during hot weather or heatwave conditions, there’s many public spaces and amenities public places available that have air conditioned facilities.

View our Related Links on this page for more about local amenities.

 

More information and helpful tools

Monitor Heatwave Forecasts

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has a useful Heatwave Service with information on heatwaves coming up throughout NSW where you can monitor the conditions in our region and plan ahead. 

NSW Health

NSW Health has a great online resource about how to 'Beat the heat' with useful information, the effects of heat on your health, how to minimise the impacts for those at risk, what to look for in heat-related illnesses, and other helpful information.

This page was last updated on: 20 December 2019