Home Editor's pick More cold weather on the way

More cold weather on the way

by Alison Cornmell

We may have had a taste of summer, but we haven’t said goodbye to winter yet as the Met Office has issued a warning of severe cold weather and possible snow from Monday, 5 April to the end of the week.

The cold weather can increase the health risks to vulnerable people, particularly at the moment with the additional health risks posed by Covid-19. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours or friends, you may want to check on them via telephone to ensure they are managing to keep warm and well during the cold spell while making sure you follow lockdown guidance.

Follow these tips to ensure you stay safe during the cold weather:

  • If you have a long-term condition and start to feel unwell, get advice from your pharmacist.
  • Ensure you have plenty of warm food and drinks.
  • Wear lots of thin layers (clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fibres).
  • Homes should be heated to the right temperature: at least 18C (65F).
  • If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to bed.
  • Keep heaters and fires away from clothes, blankets and other combustible materials.
  • Ensure electric blankets are safe to use. Check that wires are not frayed.  Once an electric blanket has been switched on, do not leave it unattended.
  • If you have a gas/solid fuel appliance/boiler, consider getting an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it weekly – this could save your life.
  • Please bear in mind the importance of circulating air indoors this winter, to mitigate the effects of viruses in circulation, including Covid-19.
  • Try to stay as active as possible. Spending more time indoors due to lockdown/shielding may result in a reduction of activity, which could have health and wellbeing related risks.
  • Check on elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours, perhaps via telephone to make sure you adhere to current lockdown restrictions. Please bear in mind that health professionals and the voluntary sector may not be able to link in with them as usual in the current circumstances.

More information and advice to help people to stay safe, warm and healthy during with extreme winter weather can be found at www.metoffice.gov.uk/weatherready and www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/warnings-and-advice/seasonal-advice.