Avoid the dangers of heat stress

WITH temperatures set to soar even higher over the weekend, locals have been urged to take extra care of themselves.

While heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable, according to Murrumbidgee Local Health District public health unit director Tracey Oakman.

These include the over 75s, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and people who live alone.

"Australians are accustomed to hot weather and generally consider themselves resilient to such conditions," Ms Oakman said.

"However, every year, hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths.

"During a heat wave, 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."

Ms Oakman said heat put a lot of strain on the body and could cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"It can also make underlying health conditions worse," she said.

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