Life-saving tips as big chill arrives

editorial image

Health chiefs were today reminding people to look out for vulnerable neighbours, family and friends and take care when out and about as a dose of “proper” winter finally descended on parts of the country.

The Met Office yesterday issued a severe weather warning for the next day or so as temperatures plunged and there was a risk of ice and wintry downpours.

Dr Rosemary McCann, Deputy Director for Health Protection, Public Health England North West said: “It’s very important to remember that cold does kill, even in places where the temperatures aren’t at their lowest.

“Most of our advice on keeping warm in cold weather may seem like common sense, but it’s important to remind people how cold can affect them.

“Our advice is that when indoors, have plenty of warm food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you have to sit still for long periods, have long term illness or are 65 or over.

“Before bad weather arrives is a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect

your 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 - if you, or they, are eligible for a flu vaccination make sure you get it as soon as you can.”

Among other PHE tips are:

Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked up with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help;

Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days;

If eligible seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.

See the latest Weather Warnings from the Met Office.