Take heat wave precautions, particularly against dehydration

Temperatures are again rising this week with another heat wave forecast across the Far West lasting up to the weekend.

The Far West LHD is reminding everyone to take precautions to beat the heat and take particular care against dehydration, with a number of people presenting to hospital over the last week suffering this heat-related illness.

As well as dehydration, other heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and worsening of existing medical conditions. If you have a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease and if you take certain medications, heat can make your symptoms worse. No matter what heat-related illness, the best way to prevent it is to drink plenty of water and to stay as cool as possible

Mild to moderate dehydration makes the heart work faster and leads to reduced fluid available for sweating. The symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Bright or dark yellow urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fainting

If someone is suffering from dehydration, follow this first aid:

  • Drink plenty of water or diluted fruit juice (1 part juice in 4 parts water); avoid tea, coffee or alcohol
  • Move somewhere cool, ideally somewhere air-conditioned
  • If possible use a spray bottle with water in it to cool yourself down
  • If you start to feel unwell, seek medical advice

In the event of an emergency, always call Triple Zero.

Remember, during warm weather, always drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Check the colour of your urine – if it’s pale you’re drinking enough. If your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather. Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks including tea and coffee (they can make dehydration worse). If you go outside, carry a bottle of water with you and stock your fridge with cold water and freezer with ice.

You can find more information on how to Beat the Heat at the Ministry of Health website https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat/Pages/default.aspx



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