Staying warm and healthy in winter

feet at fireplace

Cold weather can be dangerous and can cause mild hypothermia.

It can also make people more likely to slip or fall.

 

This increases the risks of some illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes and respiratory diseases.

Even in a normal winter over 25,000 people die as a result of the cold weather.

Preparing for winter

image of lady wearing hat and scarf in winter

Preparing for winter

  • Make sure you’ve had your flu jab if you qualify
  • Get in extra food supplies
  • Have blankets available

When it gets cold

  • Close curtains and shut doors.
  • Use hot water bottles or electric blankets (but never both together) if the bedroom is cold at night.
  • Wear extra layers during the day and put socks on in bed.
  • Try and eat well. Aim to have regular hot meals and warm drinks during the day.
  • Keep moving where possible as this is good for your general health and improves circulation.
  • It is important to keep your home at a safe temperature.

Temperatures

  • 21 degrees: Recommended living room temperature. Please note: If you have babies or small children, you should contact your health worker or GP in relation to the required room temperature, as babies need a slightly lower temperature.
  • 18 degrees: Minimum temperature with no health risk. It may still feel cold.
  • Under 16 degrees: You might be at more risk of respiratory disease.
  • 9-12 degrees:  You might be at more risk of raised blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
  • 5 degrees: High risk of hypothermia

Hypothermia

keeping warm in winter

If you think someone may have hypothermia, take immediate action:

  • Dial 999 for an ambulance.
  • Keep the person warm, wrap them in a duvet or blanket and slowly raise the room temperature.
  • Don’t give them alcohol or try to warm them up too quickly.