With cold and wintry weather predicted over the next few days and Covid-19 social distancing restrictions in place, families are being urged to follow advice on how to keep their oved ones safe.
A level two cold weather warning alert has been announced for Kent and Medway by the Met Office which triggers actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people who have health issues that increase their risk of harm.
There is a 60 per cent probability of severe cold weather in Southeast England until Friday, 1 January - low temperatures and wintry showers are forecast with the potential for rain, snow and widespread ice on Wednesday night and into Thursday.
Prolonged cold weather can be a risk for anyone although vulnerable people, including the elderly and those with long-term medical conditions, are particularly at risk which creates further health concerns this winter season as Covid-19 cases are still prevalent in the community and those in vulnerable groups can be most at risk of severe symptoms.
Simple tips such as drinking hot drinks regularly and wearing several thin layers of clothes rather than one thick one can help to keep your body warm.
- Regular hot meals and drinks can help keep your body warm.
- Keep your home heated – set the heating to the right temperature (18-21C).
- If trying to save fuel, it is advisable to heat the living room during the day, the bathroom when needed and the bedroom, just before going to bed.
- Get the flu vaccine to protect yourself and others. This is free for anyone over 65, pregnant women, those with long term conditions, and children aged two to four. Details are available at GP surgeries or pharmacies and the vaccine is free for some people.
- Order repeat prescriptions in good time to make sure you have enough supply of any medicines you use.
- Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly and make sure the chimney has been swept recently.
If you need to go out:
- Wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.
- Make sure you are not caught out by snow and ice; stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with food supplies.
- Get up-to-date traffic information at www.kenttraffic.info
- In periods of severe weather such as snow and ice, do not travel unless necessary.
- People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment.