A yellow Cold-Health Alert is being issued across the whole of the north west from 6am on Wednesday 7 February until 8pm on Friday 9 February.
Children, older people and other vulnerable groups can be particularly at risk in colder temperatures, while people with long-term health conditions, such as respiratory and heart conditions, may find that symptoms are exacerbated.
By being prepared for the cold weather, those most at-risk can protect themselves against the worst of the winter weather.
Here are a few tips that can help people stay warm:
- If you go outside for a walk, remember to wear thin layers of cotton, wool or fleecy fibres to keep you warm.
- Also make sure you wear shoes with good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect you from the cold air, and to reduce the risk of chest infections.
- Stay inside in bad weather if you don’t have to go out.
- If possible, try to keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed.
- To minimise the risks to your health, if you’re not moving about as much at home and inactive for long periods you should wear warm clothing indoors and if possible, heat your home to at least 18°C (65F).
- Keep your bedroom windows closed at night.
- If you use an electric blanket always check it regularly for signs of wear or damage. Never use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle at the same time. If you’re in any doubt about your blanket, contact the manufacturer before you use it to make sure that it is safe. It may need to be replaced.
- Make sure you’re getting all the help that you’re entitled to. There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
Indoor temperatures should be kept at a minimum of 18 degrees in the rooms regularly used, such as the living room and bedroom. Councils across Lancashire and South Cumbria have set up cost of living support pages, with details available here: https://www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/costofliving
If feeling unwell, get medical help as soon as possible. Pharmacists are experts in medicine and can provide treatment for a range of mild illnesses. Alternatively, speak to a GP or use the NHS 111 service (111.nhs.uk or call 111) if it’s an urgent medical problem. In a life-threatening emergency, visit A&E or call 999.
The government is providing support to millions of people across the UK to help them with their energy bills this winter. Further information can be found here: get help with your energy bills.