‘Stay warm and check up on your neighbours if you can’ – that’s the important message GPs are sharing with their patients this week.
A cold front is hitting Hampshire this week which brings with it some health risks. Fortunately, we can all look after ourselves over the coming days by following some simple NHS tips:
- Draw your curtains at dusk and keep your doors closed to block out draughts.
- Have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day if possible. Eating regularly helps keep energy levels up during winter.
- Wear several light layers of warm clothes (rather than one chunky layer).
- Keep as active in your home as possible.
- Wrap up warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside on cold days.
- If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. It's a good idea to keep your bedroom at this temperature all night if you can and make sure you wear enough clothes to stay warm. During the day, you may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer
- If you're under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you're comfortable.
- Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.
Stay up to date with the weather over the next few days – the Met Office website has more detailed information.
Dr Sarah Schofield, Chairman of NHS West Hampshire CCG and a local GP, said:
“The forecasts say it could get as low as minus five or six in rural parts of Hampshire this week, so please check up on your neighbours this week. It is so important that our bodies stay warm and even a short spell of very cold weather can cause health problems, particularly for the elderly. We can all do our bit to help each other out and stay warm over the next few days.
“Whether it’s drinking hot drinks, remaining active in the house and keeping doors closed to shut out the draught, you can do small things that make a big difference during the freezing temperatures.
“If you or a someone you care for feels unwell and you’re not sure what to do, call NHS 111. They are open all day, every day, and they can help you over the phone or point you in the right direction.”
More cold weather information can be found on the NHS Choices website here.