Stay Safe and Well in the Cold Weather

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There is a 60 per cent probability of wide spread frost and icy conditions across the West Midlands between tonight, Tuesday 13 and tomorrow morning, Wednesday 14 February 2018.

As temperatures drop, it is important people keep warm and well. Cold weather can kill and lead to serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes or pneumonia – those who are 65 or over, or who have a chronic health condition, are particularly at risk.

Throughout the cold weather, looking out for yourself and others is essential to keeping healthy.

A&E should only be used for very serious or life-threatening injuries or illness. There are a range of alternative places people can turn to for help, and if someone isn’t sure then they can call NHS 111 for further advice.

More often than not self-care is the only treatment you need for minor ailments, such as headaches, colds and flu, or minor injuries like muscle pulls and strains.

We are urging the most vulnerable to take a few simple precautions to protect themselves from the cold – as it could save their life. Keep yourself warm in and outdoors. If you suffer from a long-term medical condition, are pregnant, or over 65 make sure you book an appointment to have your flu jab today.

If you take regular medications, make sure you have sufficient supplies and remedies to treat yourself when you are becoming unwell. Ensure that you have access to help and support when you may need it.

People should think about how the bad weather may affect friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help.

It only takes a few simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents. People can keep warm and healthy by following our five top tips.
  • Heat your home well by setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.
  • Eat well and have plenty of fluids - Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
  • Get a flu jab - You can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu from your GP or local pharmacy if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term condition.
  • Look after yourself and others - On cold days try to avoid going outside. However, if you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.
  • Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked.