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Sydney voters could face smoky conditions

17 May 19 

Sydney voters lining up for polling booths tomorrow could face smoky conditions with a number of Hazard Reduction Burns occurring around parts of Sydney.

Asthma Australia is advising those with asthma to be aware of the burns happening and to take precaution, more information is available here.

Fire agencies have taken considerable action to re-schedule a number of burns to mitigate the impact of smoke, however a smoke advisory remains in place.

Smoke is a trigger of asthma, even if not visible by sight, smoke may still be present in the air and reduce air quality.

One in nine Australians have asthma, a respiratory condition which restricts airflow and presents as shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing, gasping or persistent cough.

Parents are being advised that children are vulnerable to breathing difficulties in poor air quality and they should remain vigilant to any asthma symptoms.

A persistent cough, wheezing or an inability to talk in full sentences can help to identify asthma in young children.

To minimise the impact of smoke in affected areas, people are advised to:

• Keep inside if possible and close windows and doors.
• Avoid exercise and turn air conditioners to recycle air from inside only.
• Ensure they have a blue/grey reliever puffer on hand. Reliever puffers are available over the counter at any pharmacy.
• Follow their Asthma Action Plan.
• Continue to take their preventer medication.
• Ensure you or a loved one know the 4 steps for asthma first aid and what to do in an asthma emergency www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/national/about-asthma/asthma-emergency
• Check the NSW Rural Fire Service website https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/hazard-reductions or on social media Facebook and Twitter.

If you aren’t diagnosed with asthma but start to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, coughing or wheezing, seek medical care or in the event of an emergency call Triple Zero (000). If you have access to a blue reliever puffer, it is safe to use this while you wait for medical care.

Asthma First Aid
1. Sit the person upright
2. Give 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever puffer
3. Wait 4 minutes
4. Repeat if no improvement
5. If no improvement call Triple Zero (000)

If you would like to learn more about asthma management and how to well controlled in unexpected weather events, call the 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462).

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