Although winter weather and snow can be fun, they are also associated with an increase in illnesses and injuries.
Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung illnesses, influenza and other diseases. People slip and fall in the snow or ice causing serious injuries.
Some groups are particularly susceptible to the effects of very cold weather, such as older people, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions. In most cases, simple preventive action could avoid illness and injury.
What health effects can the cold weather have?
Severe cold weather has impact on health and can be dangerous for those groups which are more vulnerable. The table below shows the effect that different indoor temperatures may have on health.
Minimum recommended daytime temperature for rooms occupied during the day
Minimum recommended night-time bedroom temperature. No health risks, though occupants may feel cold
Under 16°C (61˚F)
May diminish resistance to respiratory diseases
May increase blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease
Poses a high risk of hypothermia
How can I get help to stay warm?
For most people being ready for cold and wintery weather is about taking sensible precautions such as wearing a few more layers, wearing sensible footwear when going out or simply running the heating system for a while longer. Some people however need a bit of extra help in order to cope with the cold, although they may not always ask for it. In many cases what is needed is a friend or neighbor who can check on them and take care of simple tasks, whether this is picking up some items at the shops or lighting the fire.
In some cases a bit more support is needed and so to provide this support Northamptonshire County Council has teamed up with Age UK, Nene Valley Community Action, Northamptonshire Community Foundation, NHS Northamptonshire and several other organizations to create the “Wrapped Up” scheme. Using money from the Governments Warm Homes Health People Initiative, wrapped up is intended to get the meaningful help and support to those who need it. The help that may be available will vary from person to person but may include measures such as:
Mobility equipment and aids
Advice and Information
Emergency transport in icy weather
Improvements to the thermal efficiency of your home
Repairs and improvements to heating systems
Home Fire Safety Check
To find out what help might be available to you please call:
0845 677 2220 (Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 12 noon)
The following organisations might be able to offer you support:
Telephone: 0845 677 220 (Monday to Friday, 9:00am-12noon)