BEATING the heat was a top priority for Tamworthians yesterday.
Local shopping centres reported large numbers of customers coming in to take advantage of the air-conditioning.
Tamworth Shoppingworld marketing manager Donna Carey said she had noticed shoppers in increasing numbers over the past few days.
“A lot of them have been stocking up on things like refreshments, and blow-up pools,” she said.
The marketing and administration manager for City Plaza in Peel St Ann-Maree Sampson, said she had noticed shoppers were coming out earlier than usual and leaving to head home before lunchtime.
“I think that has to do more with avoiding the heat,” she said.
“We have noticed people buying their usual items but larger numbers of them are out and about earlier in the day and then leaving when it is really hot to go home.”
Mrs Sampson said it wasn’t uncommon to see large numbers of people seeking refuge in the complex’s air conditioning.
“A lot of people come in looking hot and bothered and leave a while later looking cooler,” she said.
Despite the recent hot temperatures, a spokeswoman for Tamworth’s Forum 6 Cinemas said they hadn’t really noticed a large increase in numbers.
“Just your usual holiday crowds,” she said.
TIPS FOR STAYING COOL
AS THE mercury continues to rise, residents of the northern region have been urged to take care to avoid heat-related illness.
Elderly people, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and people who live alone are particularly vulnerable to the hot weather, according to Hunter New England Health’s physician Kate Hardie.
“Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating,” Dr Hardie said.
“People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or local emergency department.”
But there are simple precautions that can be taken to avoid getting ill.
These include drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks; staying indoors between 11am and 5pm and minimising physical activity; keeping the sun out of the house; keeping windows closed during the heat of the day; ensuring air-conditioners are working, or for those without air-conditioning, spending time in an air-conditioned place like a shopping centre or library; and wearing light, loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibres.
Dr Hardie said it was also important to stay in contact with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours, and look out for anyone else who could be vulnerable.