Cold weather warning - how to stay warm and well

29 January 2019

The Met Office has published a yellow cold weather warning for snow and ice between midday today (Tuesday 29 January) through to 11am Wednesday in London.

Cold weather can affect your health, and when the temperature falls below 8oC, some people may be more at risk of illness and injury.

People who are most vulnerable to very cold weather, including those with reduced mobility, long-term health conditions such as asthma, older people, pregnant women or young children, should take extra care.

You can also help other people stay well. Keep an eye on elderly neighbours, friends and family members. They may need a bit of extra help.

To find out more about how to stay well this winter as well as information on practical and financial help for heating your home, please visit NHS website.

If you're concerned about your health or that of an elderly relative or neighbour, contact NHS 111 if your GP practice is closed. 

Tips for keeping warm and well

  • Heat your home to at least 18oC in winter if you can. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep.
  • find out if you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS
  • wear several layers of clothes rather than one chunky layer – clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres help to maintain body heat
  • use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but don't use both at the same time
  • have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm; and make sure you have hot drinks regularly
  • try not to sit still for more than an hour or so indoors – get up and stretch your legs
  • stay active – even moderate exercise can help keep you warm
  • wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth when outdoors – add a hat and wear shoes with a good grip, too. If you have a heart or respiratory problem, stay indoors during very cold weather
  • Wear good-fitting slippers with a good grip indoors and shoes with a good grip outside to prevent slips, trips and falls.
  • Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out.

Looking after others

 Check up on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or respiratory (breathing) problems, to make sure:

  • they're safe and well
  • are warm enough, especially at night
  • have stocks of food and medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather.

If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or call the Age UK helpline on 0800 678 1174 (8am-7pm every day).