Staying safe and warm in cold weather

Keeping yourself warm in cold weather is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic condition such as heart disease and asthma. There are a range of health problems associated with cold housing and winter weather, but the following tips can help you to be prepared for keeping warm and well during the winter.

  • Keep warm by setting your heating to the right temperature (18 to 21°C)
  • Have your flu jab to protect yourself and others from influenza, if in an eligible group
  • Look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies
  • Have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active to help your body stay warm
  • Get financial support to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills
  • Have your heating and cooking appliances checked regularly
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer, and when you need to go outside wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles

The NHS Choices website provides a wide range of advice and guidance to help you keep warm and well during periods of cold weather. There is also a Keep Warm, Keep Well leaflet (PDF) available giving top tips on staying well in cold weather for those over 60, for low income families and for people living with a disability.

A Cold Weather Plan for England has been published by Public Health England, in collaboration with the Department of Health, NHS England and the Local Government Association (LGA). The Cold Weather Plan aims to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.

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