Tips to stay well this winter

Posted on: 3 November 2016

With winter looming Devon County Council and Public Health England are asking people to think about making plans to protect themselves and their families.

Winter can be seriously bad for our health, but there a number of things you can do to keep you and your family well this winter. Cold weather can kill and lead to serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes or pneumonia – those who are 65 or over, or who have a chronic health condition, are particularly at risk.

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing, said: “Throughout the cold weather, looking out for yourself and others is essential to keeping healthy. There are a variety of entitlements and benefits people can apply for if struggling to keep their houses warm, such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments. Information about these are available from the Government’s .gov.uk website.

“Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination; if you’re eligible get it now. It’s free because you need it. If you have a long-term health condition, even one that is well managed, or you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of severe complications if you catch flu.

“The nasal spray vaccination is a quick, painless and effective way for children aged 2-7, and of school years 1 2 and 3 age, to be protected from flu without the need for injections.

“Of course most of what people can do to protect their health in winter is common sense – but for some people it isn’t.”

Top tips keep yourself healthy and your home warm this winter:

  • If you meet the criteria, register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.
  • Have all gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances (i.e. boilers, heaters, cookers) serviced by a registered engineer.
  • Carry out energy efficiency improvements to your home or encourage your landlord to do so
  • Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately.
  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by insulating them
  • Check to see if you qualify for financial help this winter.
  • Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination; if you’re eligible get it now. It’s free because you need it.

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Posted in: Health and Wellbeing