Health experts at Cambridgeshire County Council are reminding residents to keep warm and keep safe over the next few days as temperatures are expected to average below 2C.

In Cambridgeshire alone there are an average of 182 deaths per year linked to cold weather.

Keeping warm in colder temperatures is particularly important for older more frail people, those with ongoing illnesses such as heart and lung conditions and the very young as the cold can affect their health. Icy ground is also a hazard that can lead to falls and broken bones.

There are six top tips to help keep you warm and safe this winter. Some may seem obvious, but they could help you to stay healthy during the colder winter months.

1. Heat your home well

By setting your heating to the right temperature, a minimum of 18 ºC (65 ºF) day and night, you can keep your home warm and your bills as low as possible.

2. Get financial support

There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It's worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to. To find out about grants, services and organisations that call help you, your family or neighbour, please call 0345 650 0280.

3. Eat well and have plenty of fluids

Food is a vital source of energy which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

4. Get a flu jab

People aged over 65, pregnant women, people aged six months to under 65 years with an on-going illness such as a heart or lung condition, and carers, can all get a free flu jab from a GP or some local pharmacists. All children aged two, three and four years are also entitled to a flu immunisation delivered by nasal spray at their GP Practice.

5. Look after yourself

Keeping active is important for your health. If you do go out in cold weather it is important that you wear extra clothes to make sure that you are wrapped up warmly. During very cold and icy weather conditions it is safer for older people, very young children, and anyone with health problems to avoid going out where possible.

6. Look after your family and neighbours

If you have an older or vulnerable relative or neighbour look out for them during winter to ensure that they are warm and safe.

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "Encouraging vulnerable people to keep warm and safe during the winter is one of our public health priorities; particularly for frail older residents and people with long term illness such as heart or lung conditions . The six top tips show that there are simple measures which can help protect from winter-related illnesses and incidents."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Kilian Bourke, Chairman of the Council's Health Committee, added: "Winter is a dangerous time for the those who are frail and vulnerable and the cold can kill. The County Council is working with other local health services and community organisations to make sure those at risk are helped, supported and receive advice. I'd also urge that if you have frail or vulnerable neighbour that you look out for them during this cold patch."

More advice about staying healthy during cold weather is available on the winter health pages of NHS Choices

See list of local pharmacies providing flu vaccination jabs


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