With temperatures set to plummet below freezing this weekend and snow forecast across the country, it’s worth recapping on what everyone can do to stay well and warm this winter.
How can I keep myself warm?
Even if it isn’t a severe winter, cold weather makes us more susceptible to certain illnesses. Follow these tips to stay healthy and keep warm indoors and out.
Keeping warm inside
- If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth. Try to keep your feet up, as the air is cooler at ground level.
- Wear warm clothes in bed. When it’s very cold, wear thermal underwear, bed socks and even a hat – a lot of heat is lost through your head.
- Use a hot-water bottle, wheat bag or an electric blanket to warm the bed. Never use a hot-water bottle and an electric blanket together as this can be dangerous.
- Get your electric blanket checked every three years by an expert.
- Check whether your electric blanket can be kept on all night. Some blankets should only be used to warm the bed before you get in.
Keeping warm outside
- Make sure you keep your hands and face warm. As well as wearing gloves and a hat, always wrap a scarf around your face when you go outside, even if it’s only for a short time. This helps to warm the air you breathe.
- Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air. Clothes made from wool or fleecy synthetic fibres such as polyester are a better choice than cotton. Start with thermal underwear, warm tights or socks.
- Keep your feet warm. Choose boots with non-slip soles and a warm lining, or wear thermal socks.
- Check local news and weather forecasts for advice when cold weather is predicted.
How can I keep my home warm?
- Close the curtains in the evenings and fit thermal linings if you can. This will keep the heat in.
- Keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold. The coldest time of the day is just before dawn and breathing in cold air increases the risk of chest infections.
- Draught-proof doors and windows, insulate the loft, lag the hot-water tank and pipes, and consider getting cavity-wall insulation. These measures will help to keep your home warm and your energy bills down – and you may be able to get financial help to set these up.
- Keep your main living room heated to 70°F (21°C).
- Heat your bedroom to 64°F (18°C).
Source: Age UK
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