04 January 2012
Prepare to Beat the Heat
NSW Ministry of Health is reminding people of health implications that can result from extreme heat and encouraging people to be prepared for hot weather, now that summer seems to have finally arrived.
Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said it is important to be aware of the serious health effects that really hot weather can have and understand how heat may affect your personal circumstances.
“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,” said Dr Chant.
NSW Ministry of Health today officially launched the Beat the Heat campaign, which has been developed to explain ways to take care in hot weather and gives people information about how they can stay healthy in the heat and avoid ending up in hospital.
Every year, hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths. The heat wave that affected Sydney in February 2011 caused an estimated 595 emergency department visits and 96 deaths.
Dr Di O'Halloran, Medicare Local Chair and Conjoint Professor of General Practice at the University of Western Sydney said certain people are at higher risk than others of suffering from heat related illness, including those who are aged over 75 years, overweight, pregnant, breastfeeding, work outside, exercise in the heat, or have a medical illness.
“It is especially important for people with chronic diseases to prepare for hot weather and ask your GP how heat might affect your health,” Dr O’Halloran said.
NSW Health’s Beat the Heat campaign website and booklet provide a portal of information for the general public, carers and health professionals on how best to prepare for heat waves and how to stay healthy during the summer months.
During hot weather, remember to:
Further information on the Beat the Heat campaign can be found at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/beattheheat
For a range of health information, go online to www.health.nsw.gov.au