Elderly and very young vulnerable as heat moves in

TEMPERATURES are on the rise today with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a sustained heatwave across NSW.

Temperatures are expected to reach well into the 30s and look set to linger until Saturday.

The central west and lower NSW will endure the brunt of the heatwave, with thermometers expected to hit the mid-40s as the persistent heat moves eastward. Temperatures near the coast are expected to be moderated by the sea breeze.

High temperatures pose a risk to those in the community less able to cope with the heat. Especially vulnerable are the sick, elderly, very young and family pets.

Health risks include dehydration, lethargy, exhaustion, dizziness, nausea, fainting and heat stroke.

The Department of Social Services has released a heatwave checklist which can be found on its website, encouraging people to stay indoors out of the direct sun, particularly limiting exposure during the hottest middle part of the day, use airconditioning where possible, drink water and wear loose fitting, cool clothing when outdoors.

Kristy Abbott from Ekidna Kinda Early Learning Centre in West Nowra said particular care was taken of the children during hot days. 

“We put their sunscreen on and encourage the children to participate in water play, where we turn on the hoses and sprinklers and wet the sand for them to play in” she said.

“We give the children ice blocks and plenty of water to drink.”

Pet owners are urged to provide adequate shade, unlimited access to water and if possible for smaller animals an indoor airconditioned space to avoid heat exhaustion.

“Every year we see animals, particularly dogs, chickens and rabbits present at our hospital showing signs of heat stress,” Dr Neil

Johnson from Bomaderry Veterinary Hospital said.

“We recommend clipping long-haired pets and if you intend to exercise them, do so early in the morning or late in the evening.” 

Dr Johnson also stressed that “pet owners should not leave their pets in the car, even with the windows down”.

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