Very cold weather can have an impact on your health and wellbeing and can be far more serious for older people, adults with disabilities or long-term health conditions and young children. Please consider the following advice to keep yourself and others safe and well during this time:
If you haven’t had a flu jab yet, it’s not too late to book an appointment with your local GP or pharmacist. Flu jabs are free to anyone aged 65 or over, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease).
There are many options available to manage your health:
- Self care – stock medicine cabinets with paracetamol, ibuprofen, antihistamines, plasters and throat lozenges to treat minor cuts, sore throats, tickly coughs and a blocked nose.
- Make sure you order any repeat prescriptions in plenty of time.
- Your local pharmacy - for painful coughs, headaches, minor infections, diarrhoea and general health advice.
- Your GP surgery – vomiting, earache, prolonged headaches, stomach ache, feverish children.
- Call NHS 111 – If you are still concerned, feel unwell and are unsure what to do and your GP surgery is closed, call 111.
- Call 999 or go to A&E – If someone is choking, has chest pain, is blacking out or has blood loss or any other life threatening emergency, call 999 or head to A&E.
- Check room temperatures regularly and make you are comfortable – keep temperature in main rooms between 18 - 21°C
- Dress for cold weather – several thinner layers are best.
- Eat regular hot meals, have plenty of hot drinks
- Keep moving
- Dress in several layers. Babies and young children need one more layers than adults
- If you are asthmatic, cover your nose/mouth with a scarf to warm air before it reaches the respiratory system.
- Always wear a hat and gloves. Beware of hazards - scarves are good for adults but scarves and hood strings can strangle smaller children.
- Be seen - make sure everyone wears something bright or fluorescent during the day and something reflective at dusk and in the dark – particularly children
- Wear shoes with a good grip to help avoid slipping and take your time when walking
- In drier winter people lose more water through breath – so make sure you have plenty to drink to avoid getting dehydrated
Be a good neighbour
When the temperature falls to freezing older and other vulnerable people may have difficulty staying warm and getting out of the house. You can help by checking in on them:
- Offer to help with errands like shopping or collecting prescriptions
- Spare time for a chat - a few minutes of your time will make a big difference
- If you are worried about their health call a family member or NHS 111 for advice.
Stay up-to-date - Listen to the news and weather forecasts on TV or local radio.
Further advice is available here: www.nhs.uk/staywell