CHILDREN, elderly people and pet owners have been warned about the heatwave conditions that will hit the north during the next couple of days.
Health experts, veterinarians and police have issued warnings and suggestions on how to combat the expected 40 degree Celsius heat this weekend and throughout summer.
Summer officially begins tomorrow and temperatures are forecast to soar, after rising steadily all week, with sunny days expected to keep showers away until early next week.
As the hot days loom, police have warned drivers about the dangers of leaving children, the elderly or pets unattended in cars.
They say it’s not only dangerous, it can be deadly.
State Emergency Service operations controller acting deputy commissioner Mark Murdoch said everyone should be aware of the impending hot weather and follow the golden rule – to never leave vulnerable people or animals alone in the car, even if the airconditioning was on.
“It doesn’t take long for the temperature inside the car to soar and for the effects of heat to take hold,” Mr Murdoch said.
NSW Health said the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases were most at risk of developing heat exhaustion.
People working or exercising in a hot environment are also more susceptible to heat exhaustion, which, if not treated, can turn into heatstroke.
In addition to drinking plenty of water, keeping cool and taking care of others, health experts recommend regularly checking weather forecasts and verifying whether certain medications have an adverse effect in extreme heat.
While vulnerable people and domestic pets are most at risk of heat exhaustion during such highs, one local egg producer has expressed concerns about the extreme heat’s effect on his animals of the feathered variety.
Tamworth farmer Bede Burke says he takes extra precautions during periods of extreme heat to protect his chickens.
Mr Burke says he monitors weather reports constantly and once temperatures get out of the 20-to 30-degree zone, there’s a huge impact on his flock of about 130,000 chooks.
“The poor things could just start dying,” he said.
Mr Burke treats his hot hens with special insulated sheds, fitted with exhaust fans, evaporative cooling and sprinkler systems.
Animals are considered particularly at risk during a heatwave because they can dehydrate quickly.
Specialist veterinarian Dr Rod Straw said in a short period of time an animal can suffer critical damage to its nervous system, heart, liver or brain which can result in death.