NSW Health is urging people to 'take the risk of heat-related illness seriously' after the Bureau of Meteorology predicted that parts of New South Wales would be hit by a heat wave in the coming days.
Western NSW, the lower Blue Mountains and Western Sydney are expected to reach the 'high 30s and early 40s' this week and over the weekend.
NSW health medical adviser in environmental health Dr Richard Broome said that though heat-related illness can affect anyone, people over 75, infants and children, people who live alone and those with a chronic medical condition are particularly vulnerable.
"Australians are accustomed to hot weather and generally consider themselves resilient to such conditions," said Dr Broome.
"However, 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 which is a stark reminder that extreme heat presents a real and potentially life-threatening risk."
NSW Health has issued some simple precautions to help people minimise the risk of heat-related illness which include drinking plenty of water – and carrying it with you when you're out and about – avoiding alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks, wearing loose clothing, following sun smart safety guidelines when outside and planning your day around the heat – staying indoors between 11am and 5pm.
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