10 January 2023

Residents urged to prepare for a scorching week

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Heat wave sign

Temperatures are forecast to hit 40 on multiple days this week in some areas of the Riverina. Photo: File.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District is reminding people to take the risk of heat-related illness seriously, with temperatures in the region expected to reach into the high 30s this week for several days in a row.

The district’s Acting Director of Public Health, Alison Nikitas, said that while heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable.

These include older persons, people with a chronic medical condition, people who live alone, and infants and children.

“Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Ms Nikitas said. “It can also make underlying health conditions worse.

“However, being prepared and taking some simple precautions can reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

“In this extended period of hot weather, we need to keep in contact with elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and also be mindful that babies and children can overheat and dehydrate quickly.”

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Simple steps to minimise the risk of heat-related illness include:

  • Drink plenty of water, and carry some with you when you’re out.
  • Eat smaller, cold meals such as salad and fruit.
  • If you are travelling, take water to drink in case you break down or are delayed.
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.
  • Plan your day around the heat. Stay indoors between 11 am and 5 pm and minimise physical activity.
  • Keep the sun out of your house by shading windows with an awning, shade cloth or plants. Shut curtains and blinds, and use fans and air conditioning where available.
  • Take cool showers or baths, or put your feet in cool water.
  • Seek out air-conditioned public buildings such as libraries and shopping centres.

Emergency physician Dr Peter Chigwidden encouraged people to be aware of the early signs of heat-related illness and seek medical care.

“Headaches, vomiting and particularly things like confusion and an altered mental state are things to be concerned about, and signs that you should come to the emergency department so we can institute some cooling measures and rehydrate you with some fluids,” said Dr Chigwidden.

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Forecast for the week ahead


Tuesday – Min 17 Max 37
Wednesday – Min 17 Max 37
Thursday – Min 18 Max 37
Friday – Min 19 Max 37
Saturday – Min 19 Max 37
Sunday – Min 19 Max 37.


Tuesday – Min 17 Max 38
Wednesday – Min 17 Max 39
Thursday – Min 19 Max 40
Friday – Min 19 Max 40
Saturday – Min 19 Max 40
Sunday – Min 20 Max 39.

For more information about staying healthy in the heat, as well as tips and tricks for keeping cool and staying hydrated, visit Beat the Heat.

Trusted health advice is available by calling HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.

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