The Met Office have issues a cold weather warning for the area which means Cambridgeshire could see several days of below freezing weather. In Cambridgeshire alone there are an average of 180 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. The cold weather can increase the risk of raising blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. People with chest conditions are at particular at risk of becoming ill during periods of cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds.

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.

"¢ Heat the home well: Heat the home to a minimum of 18°C (65°F), and make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. Above this and people may be wasting money; below this and there is a risk health. This will keep the home warm and may lower the bills.

"¢ Look after yourself and others:on cold days try to avoid going outside. If a person does need to venture out, they need to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. Look out for an older or vulnerable neighbour or relative during this winter to make sure they are safe and well.

"¢ Get financial support: there are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make the home more energy efficient, improve the heating, or help with bills. Find out about Stay Well Grants for vulnerable individuals and families.

"¢ Eat well and have plenty of fluids: food and water are vital sources of energy; they help keep a person's body warm. People should make sure they and their family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.

"¢ Get a flu jab: certain groups can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu, including the over 65s, pregnant women, people with a long term illness or if someone is the main carer of an elderly or disabled person. Free flu jabs are available from your GPs and some pharmacies.

For further local information on staying warm and well this winter, including grants call 0345 6500 280.

Cambridgeshire County Council is working with a range of local organisations to promote staying warm and well this winter. Partners include:
"¢ Care Network Cambridgeshire
"¢ Age UK Cambridgeshire
"¢ Carers Trust Cambridgeshire
"¢ Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service
"¢ Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
"¢ District Councils

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