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Keeping safe in the cold

Stuff you already know but probably need telling again

Published on December 3rd 2010.

Keeping safe in the cold

OLDER people and those with serious health conditions are at a higher risk of heart attacks, stroke, chest infections and breathing problems during cold weather, but young children may also suffer from asthma and chest infections in the cold.

And as Liverpool woke to a relatively unaccustomed dusting of snow today – and with no sign of a thaw and sub zero temps, it's time to roll out the keep warm advice from Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

Dr Paula Grey, Director of Public Health for Liverpool said: “Everyone needs to take care of themselves during a cold snap, and this is especially important for some groups.

“Make sure you stay warm – wrap up in plenty of layers, eat hot food and have plenty of hot drinks. People at risk of heart or breathing problems or falls should avoid going out unless they have to. If you have to go out, wrap up well with hat, scarf, gloves, coat and warm boots with a good grip.”

People also need to be careful of icy roads and walkways. Those with arthritis can get more unsteady on their feet as cold stiffens up muscles and joints, increasing the danger of falls.

Councillor Roz Gladden, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “During the wintry weather it’s important that people are good neighbours and keep an eye on vulnerable people. It could be they need help with shopping because they don’t want to go out because of the frosty and slippery conditions.

“It’s also important people keep their homes warm and don’t suffer because they are worried about heating bills. All people over 60 will be getting the winter fuel payment around now, and additional cold weather payments are made to people on pension credit when the temperature is at freezing point for more than seven consecutive days.”

Tips for keeping warm:

- Wrap up warm by wearing lots of thin layers instead of one chunky one

- Close curtains and shut doors to keep the heat in

- Have plenty of hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day to keep you energy up

- If you are able, try to move around at least once an hour to warm your body up

- Heat your bedroom before you go to bed and use a hot water bottle or electric blanket (but never both together)

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