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Tips for keeping warm and well during the cold weather 25 March 2013

Following severe weather across parts of the Island and ongoing cold conditions, the Department of Health is reminding the public – particularly those in vulnerable groups, such as older people – to do all they can to stay warm and well during the latest cold snap.

Top tips on staying healthy and warm during the cold weather:

  • Keep active in your home by moving around at least once an hour
  • Eat well and drink plenty of fluids - eat a healthy and varied diet and drink plenty of water and hot drinks to keep energy levels up and to stay warm, with at least one hot meal a day
  • Wear the right clothing - dress for the weather, both inside and outside the house. Multiple thin layers (such as a vest, shirt, and jumper) retain body heat more effectively than one thick layer (such as a woolly jumper). Wear slippers or shoes in the house to keep feet warm.
  • Travel in icy weather - icy pavements and roads can be very slippery. Take extra care if you go out and wear boots or shoes with good grip on the soles, and remember to wear a scarf, gloves and a hat to prevent heat loss. The Met Office advises putting grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping. Bear in mind that black ice on pavements or roads might not be clearly visible, and that compacted snow may turn to ice and become slippery.
  • Heat your home effectively and safely - set your home or at least one room at around 21o C (70o F), setting heating timers to come on before you get up and before you go to bed if necessary, remembering to close curtains, doors and block draughts to keep rooms warm. Bedrooms should be above 18o C (65o F) and you can use a hot water bottle or electronic blanket in bed, but not both (heating appliances should be regularly checked and used with adequate ventilation to avoid the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning; electric blankets should be checked regularly and replaced at least every 10 years).
  • Keep up to date with the weather forecasts either by television, radio, internet or newspapers – or alternatively call 0900 624 3300 for a recorded forecast
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help either by contacting friends, relatives, neighbours, your GP, Social Worker, District Nurse, or Housing Officer and remember, in a life threatening situation you should always dial 999 immediately.

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