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Bushfire smoke and respiratory conditions

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People with asthma and carers looking after loved ones with asthma should be extra vigilant around the smoke from the bushfires.

Fine particles and gases in bushfire smoke are small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs and can cause health effects.

People with a heart or lung condition, including asthma, children (up to 14 years), pregnant women and people over 65 years of age are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.

If you have a heart or lung condition, take your medication as prescribed. Asthmatics should follow their personal asthma action plan and keep reliever medication on hand.

There are simple steps you can take to avoid smoke and protect your health…
– If you are not under threat from a fire, avoid breathing smoke by staying inside with the windows and doors closed.
– Reduce physical activity.
– If you have an air conditioner, switch it to ‘recirculate’ or ‘re-use’ and reduce activities that affect indoor air quality, like smoking cigarettes, burning candles or vacuuming.
– If you are planning to leave your home. Check that it’s safe to go elsewhere before leaving.
– Take your current medication with you if you are reallocating.
– When there’s a break in the smoke, open your windows and doors to get rid of any smoke inside the house.

If you or anyone in your care is experiencing symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure, call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 or seek medical advice.

Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing, wheezing or tightness in the chest should seek urgent medical assistance – call 000.