Wrap up warmly – winter’s here!

27th November 2019

Stockport is expected to be hit by its first bout of real wintery weather as temperatures in the region drop this weekend ( 30th Nov) to below freezing point.

The Met office is forecasting severe cold weather, with overnight temperatures at -2C, potentially leading to dangerous frosty roads and pavements.

NHS staff are already experiences high numbers of patients visiting GP practices and A&E but this is likely to increase due to falls, flu and other winter health problems.

Health experts are asking people to help by doing more to look after themselves – like having your flu jab if you’re entitled to one – and keep a close eye on vulnerable neighbours, family and friends.

Residents are being urged to stock up on medicine cabinet essentials so they can deal with common ailments themselves without the need for a trip to the doctors.

Your local pharmacist can give you advice and treatment for many minor health problems leaving the emergency and GP services to deal with the more serious issues.

Use paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have a temperature caused by coughs, cold or flu, or for pain relief for things like ear or stomach ache, sore throats, general aches and sprains.

You’ll also need anti-diarrhea and re-hydration mixtures for adults if they have a stomach upset, and makes sure anyone ill in your family gets plenty of rest and drinks lots of fluids.

Also this is a time to keep an eye on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more vulnerable to cold weather. Cold weather is especially dangerous for older people or people with serious illnesses, so check up on them if you can.

Keeping warm is vital for everyone so you should keep curtains drawn and all doors closed to block out draughts, and wear several light layers of warm clothes rather than one chunky layer.

Keep your living room at around 21°C (70°F), and bedroom at least 18°C (65°F). If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before bedtime.

You should also eat regularly to help keep energy levels up and have regular hot drinks and at least one hot meal a day if possible.

It’s also important to keep as active as possible but don’t go out unless you really have to. If you do go outside, wrap up warmly and wear boots or shoes with good grip on the soles as frosty pavements and roads can be very slippery.

For more information on winter health please visit the winter health pages on the NHS Choices website.