With temperatures in some parts of the region expected to reach into the 40s this week, Southern NSW Local Health District is urging people to take the risk of heatrelated illness seriously. Southern NSW Local Health District Director Public Health Tracey Oakman said while heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable. These include the over 75s, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and people who live alone. “Every year hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths,” Mrs Oakman said. During hot weather, it is very important to stay in regular contact with your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and to look out for other vulnerable members of your community. “Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It can also make underlying health conditions worse. However, being prepared and taking some simple precautions can reduce the risk of heat related illness,” said Mrs Oakman. These simple precautions will help people minimise their risk of heat-related illness: • Drink plenty of water, and remember to carry some with you when you’re out and about. • If you are travelling, make sure you 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 11am and 5pm and minimise physical activity. • Keep the sun out of your house by shading windows with an awning, shadecloth or plants. Shutting curtains will also help.