Sydney has been on high-alert regarding the extreme heat, with NSW Health issuing a formal warning for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma and hay fever in response to the rising air pollution and ozone levels in the wider city.
As the days begin to grow even hotter, looking after your baby and yourself can be extremely difficult – especially if either of you has respiratory issues and are feeling drained from the weather.
National Asthma Council Australia spokesperson, Siobhan Brophy has some tips to help keep your family safe during the warmer weather.
TOP 5 TIPS:
1. Avoid the triggers you can control
It’s difficult to control the outdoor pollution you’re exposed to but it’s possible to have an influence on your indoor environment. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are good to look out for – some occur naturally but others can cause irritation for allergy and asthma sufferers. VOCs can come from furniture, paint, flooring (particularly when new) as well as cigarette smoke, so stay clear of second-hand smoke, particularly indoors. You can also ensure that any cleaning products you use in your home have a low-level of VOC chemicals – check the labels carefully.
VOCs can come from furniture, paint, flooring (particularly when new) as well as cigarette smoke, so stay clear of second-hand smoke, particularly indoors. You can also ensure that any cleaning products you use in your home have a low-level of VOC chemicals – check the labels carefully.
2. Filter your air
We filter many things in our lives…our water, our photos, our friends and even those we choose to date, however, not a lot of us filter the air in our homes. Air Purifiers contain filtration technology to purify the air in your home by getting rid of contaminants such as allergens, VOCs, viruses and gases.
An Air Purifier like the Philips Air Purifier has been clinically proven to alleviate symptoms associated with pollen allergy in international clinical trials so it’s certainly worth checking out one of these gadgets as a long-term investment for your family.
3. Time your errands
At the risk of sounding like the apocalypse is coming, consider staying indoors and avoiding outdoor exposure during the day, particularly if you’re finding that the hot weather and the poor air quality is a trigger for your respiratory problems.
Pollen levels tend to be at their highest before 9am, while ozone levels tend to be at their lowest in the morning, reaching their peak at around 7pm - so try and run errands mid-morning. Consider also visiting a site like sydneypollen.com.au who forecast pollen and mould levels during the day.
4. Drink water
Recent studies have found that dehydration can play a significant role in asthma and allergies. Aside from the many other benefits of increasing water intake (which will likely have been drummed into you already!) it’s vital to drink plenty throughout the day to maintain a good hydration level to lessen your symptoms where possible.
5. Enlist the help of a professional
Don’t feel like you have to endure worsening symptoms during the hot and humid weather. If you’re having breathing difficulty and finding that it’s interfering with your normal activity, it’s important that you seek medical help.
It’s important also that asthma sufferers ensure all of their medication is available and up-to-date around this time of year – many people can often get caught off guard with expired or worse, no immediate access to the right medications.
Sufferers can also call the national 1800 ASTHMA helpline (1800 278 462) for advice and support.