Doncaster Council is reminding residents that keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health problems like pneumonia.
Councillor Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “It is important that we all take a little bit of extra care of ourselves as winter sets in to ensure we stay healthy.
“I would also remind residents that during the cold weather everyone can do their bit to look out for older and vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives, to check that they’re safe and well through the winter.
“Simple steps like making sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather, will help keep them healthy over winter.”
Doncaster Council can help you stay warm and healthy this winter with free advice on saving energy, free benefit advice and support from our Wellbeing Officers who work to help people stay independent and well.
People can visit one of our Winter Warmth events to find out more or if they can’t attend one of our events but would like more information they should contact the council’s Energy Team on 01302 737053 or Public Health Team on 01302 734020.
The five top tips for staying healthy over winter are:
Dress for warmth
Remember that it is just as important to dress to keep warm indoors as it is to wrap up when you leave your home.
Thermal underwear is a fantastic way to help keep your body temperature just right and adding several layers of thin clothing made of wool, polyester or fleecy synthetic fibres or fabrics will help to keep you warm.
Keep feet warm with thick tights or socks and a warm pair of slippers or shoes and throw a blanket over the knees and shoulders for additional warmth in the home. Pop a woollen hat on your head, to prevent heat loss when out and about.
Keep at least one room warm
Keeping at least one room warm during the day is important and if you are over 60, disabled or on a low income, you may be able to get financial help to heat your home.
Eat a hot meal every day
During cold weather, regular hot meals and hot drinks will provide warmth and help to your energy levels up. A balanced diet of foods rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals, such as potatoes, beans, bread, milk, eggs, meat and fish, are all good sources of energy and will help keep you healthy.
Keep warm in bed at night
A hot water bottle will warm up your bed, as will an electric blanket, although you must never use the two together as this can be dangerous.
If you do use an electric blanket, you can carry out some simple checks before you use your blanket. If you see any of the following danger signs, stop using it and get it replaced:
Creasing or folding
Tie tapes damaged or missing
Damaged Plugs - 3 Amp fuse only
Wearing the right clothing to bed is as important as wrapping up when you go outside - thermal underwear or pyjamas and bed socks will all help keep you warm right through the night.
A warm, milky drink before bed can also help and, if you sometimes wake during the night feeling cold, you could keep a flask of hot drink by your bedside too.
Get a flu jab
The flu vaccine is available free of charge from your family doctor for people who are most at risk of developing health complications if they get it. Those who are most at risk are people aged 65 and over; pregnant women; and people who have long-term health issues, including:
heart chest problems like asthma, bronchitis or emphysema
a heart problem
kidney disease, liver disease or a problem with their spleen
a neurological condition, such as Parkinson’s, motor neurone or cerebral palsy
A low immune system due to disease, such as cystic fibrosis or Crohn’s disease
have previously had a stroke
You should also have the vaccine if you live in a residential or nursing home or are a main carer.
The council has lots of useful advice on a dedicated winter webpage including gritting operations, salting routes and salt bin locations www.doncaster.gov.uk/winter.
Residents can also keep up to date during extreme winter weather about council news and services, weather, travel and schools by following us on Twitter @mydoncaster or liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mydoncaster
Winter Warmth events
Thursday 30 January, 1.30 - 4pm
Kinsbourne Green Community Centre, Dunscroft
Friday 31 January, 10am - 3pm
Wellbeing Bus in Sainsbury’s car park, Coinsbrough
Thursday 13 February, 1.30 - 4pm
Miners Welfare, West End Lane, Rossington
Thursday 20 February, 10am - 1pm
Linny Centre, Weston Road, Balby
Thursday 27 February, 10am - 1pm
Age UK - Armthorpe Community Centre