Heat stress

HOT STUFF: The combination of sun and celebration can pose problems on summer days.

HOT STUFF: The combination of sun and celebration can pose problems on summer days.

With a host of exciting events planned across Western Sydney, the upcoming Australia Day long weekend is a time for celebration, however with temperatures set to soar, it is important to be mindful of the dangers of heat.

The day following Australia Day (January 27) has historically proven to be a peak time for heat-related deaths in Australia. This has been attributed to factors including the combination of hot weather, outdoor activities and alcohol consumption.

While it is important to enjoy yourself, taking a few moments think about your health and the health of your family will see you safely through this hot time of year.

NSW Health gives the following tips to help you beat the heat and stay safe this Australia Day long weekend:

Drink plenty of water: Even if you do not feel thirsty. Alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks can make dehydration worse so avoid them where possible. Children need to be encouraged to drink regularly as they may forget to do so.

Keep cool: Stay out of the sun and avoid physical activity during the hottest part of the day.  If you don’t have an air conditioner, putting cool packs or water on your wrists neck and feet can make a big difference. If possible, visit a cool space such as a library or shopping centre.

Take care of others: One of the reasons heat is so dangerous is that people can suffer silently in their homes. It is important to check on neighbours and loved ones to ensure they are okay, particularly if they are elderly or have a chronic health condition.

Have a plan: Even if you have air-conditioning at home, it is important to plan what you will do in the event of a power failure. Know who to call if you need help and check with your doctor if you have questions about your medications or fluid intake.

Fairfield Leisure Centre pool party (10am–4pm) is a cool, family-friendly option for celebrating Australia Day – keeping you out of the midday heat.

The whole family can take advantage of free entry to the pool while grooving along to the DJ and other activities and entertainment. Children under the age of 16 years require supervision.

  • WSROC president Barry Calvert