Health experts are urging people to look out for others, to keep warm indoors and to take care when out and about as the Met Office has forecast cold weather conditions for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Until tomorrow (Thursday) it is very likely that parts of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will face a spell of cold weather, triggering a severe cold weather alert.
Severe cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older, the very young or those with ongoing health conditions.
Val Thomas, consultant in public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “It is important to remember that cold weather is a risk to people’s health, especially for older people, young children and those living with conditions such as breathing or heart conditions.
“There are things you can do to protect yourself from the ill effects of cold weather. If indoors, keep your heating at least 18°C and have frequent warm drinks. Try to avoid going out in cold icy weather, but if you do wear shoes with good grip soles and wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer.
“We also ask that everyone remembers to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during this period of cold weather to make sure that they are protected from the cold weather. Having a flu vaccination is important, it is free for the most vulnerable and it is best to have it as early as possible in the cold weather season, though it never too late.”
Top tips to keep warm during cold weather:
Keep your home warm, efficiently and safely:
. heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing
. get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated
. use your electric blanket as instructed and get it tested every three years
. never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket
do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and this can kill
. make sure you have a supply of heating oil or LPG or sold fuel if you are not on mains gas or electricity – to make sure you do not run out in winter
Keep in the warmth by:
. fitting draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors
. making sure you have loft insulation. And if you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too
. insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes
. draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms
. make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.
Look after yourself:
. food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks
. aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count toward your five a day
. stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy
. exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter
. if possible, try to move around at least once an hour. But remember to speak to your GP before starting any exercise plans
. wear lots of thin layers – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good and maintain body heat
. wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent trips, slips and falls
. make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out
. check if you are eligible for inclusion on the priority services register operated by your water and power supplier.
Look after others:
. check on older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well.