Health chiefs in Huntingdonshire are urging people to take extra care of themselves and look out for family members after the Met Office issued a cold weather warning.
The Met Office is predicting bitter, sub-zero conditions, which could see 20cm of snow in some areas by the end of the week - bringing about the coldest January on record.
Huntingdon GP, Dr Sripat Pai, says these kind of temperatures will undoubtedly see a rise in health problems, especially for the elderly and those who are already unwell, and is urging people to check on family and neighbours.
“Overall cold weather is pretty bad for our health, not just bringing colds and coughs but it can also increase the chance of heart attack, stroke breathing problems, falls and injuries and it can affect mental health. This is why it’s important to follow a few tips to keep warm, and in turn, keep well, when the weather is very cold,” said Dr Pai.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s has published some tips on how to look after health in cold weather:
Keep homes warm, efficiently and safely: about 18 degrees is a good temperature.
Wear appropriate clothing when going out: layers of clothes, shoes with a good grip, scarf, glove, hats and warm coat.
Take care on slippery paths and where the ground hasn’t been gritted.
Travel carefully in icy weather: in very cold weather gritting roads sometimes cannot prevent ice.
If you have a heart or breathing problem then stay indoors if possible. Asthmatics can put a scarf loosely over their mouth when going out, which helps keep the air warm and reduces asthma attacks.
Have hot meals and drinks: hot and drink food is the energy source which helps keep the body warm.
Dr Pai added: “If you have an elderly friend, relative or neighbour, or just someone you know who might struggle because of very cold weather, then please check on them. It might be that bad weather conditions mean they don’t want to get out and need food or medications, or it might be that they’re struggling in a cold home and need your help.”