Tamworth residents warned not to leave children, pets in cars during heatwave

AS New South Wales prepares for a wave of hot weather during the next few days, police are also reminding motorists about the danger of leaving children, the elderly or pets unattended in cars.

Deputy State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON), Acting Deputy Commissioner Mick Fuller, said not only was it dangerous to leave children or animals in cars, it could be deadly.

“The Bureau of Meteorology has warned us that temperatures are expected to remain in the high 30s and 40s in the coming days for large parts of New South Wales.

“While everyone should be aware of the impending hot weather, there is one golden rule which should never be broken: never ever leave babies, children, the elderly or animals alone in a car even if the air-conditioner is on.

“It doesn’t take long for the temperature inside the car to soar, and for the effects of the heat to take hold.

Extended periods of hot weather are not only uncomfortable, they can be dangerous for the very young, the elderly or the unwell.

Extended periods of hot weather are not only uncomfortable, they can be dangerous for the very young, the elderly or the unwell.

“You might think it is inconvenient to take your child or pet with you, even if it is to go and pay for petrol or pop into a shop, but the alternative could be worse,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller said.

NSW Health have advised that those most at risk of developing heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with chronic diseases, and people working or exercising in a hot environment. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can turn into heat stroke.

The four key messages are:

• Drink plenty of water (carry some with you);

• Keep cool;

• Take care of others; and,

• Have a plan (know who to contact).

Members of the public should also;

• Regularly check your local forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology on your radio, TV or on the internet.

• Get advice from your doctor about whether your medication and/or your medical conditions may affect what you should do if it gets extremely hot.

• Make sure you know who you are going to call (who may need help and who could provide help to you if needed) – make a list of telephone numbers.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller urged everyone in the community to plan ahead and be prepared for the hot weather:

“Keep informed and look after yourself, your children and the elderly,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Fuller said.

For more details on how to care for yourself and others during hot weather go to www.health.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/beat the heat

It is easy for your body to become dehydrated or to overheat and you can develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke. 

Therefore it is important people plan ahead for periods of extreme heat, such as the one we are experiencing.

Elderly people and people taking certain medications are less able to produce sweat, and young children produce more body heat, sweat less and have faster-rising body temperatures.

Exposure to high temperatures can make existing illnesses seriously worse (for example, trigger a heart attack), cause serious permanent injuries (damage to the brain or other vital organs) as a result of untreated heatstroke, and in extreme cases can result in death.