The Met Office has issued a Level 2 cold weather alert for the Birmingham and Solihull area from Friday, 23 until Monday, 26 February.
Residents are being advised to take extra precautions as colder weather sweeps across the area this weekend. NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are warning that prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
It only takes a few simple measures to protect yourself and your family from winter-related illnesses and incidents. People can keep warm and healthy by following our five top tips.
1. Heat your home well. By setting your heating to the right temperature (between 18-21ºC) you can still keep your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. It is especially important if you’re at home all day.
2. Eat well and have plenty of fluids. Food and water are vital sources of energy, and they help keep your body warm. Try to make sure you and your family have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day.
3. Get a flu jab. You can get free flu jabs to protect against seasonal flu from your GP or local pharmacy if you are over 65, pregnant, or have a long-term condition.
4. Look after yourself and others. On cold days try to avoid going outside. However, if you do need to go out, remember to wrap up warm and take care on slippery surfaces. If you have an older neighbour or relative, look out for them during the winter to make sure they are safe and well.
5. Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked. If you’re on medication, make sure you get your repeat prescriptions in time so you don’t run out.
If you haven’t already, talk to your GP practice about registering for Patient Online. Simply complete the paperwork and you’ll be able to request repeat prescriptions online as well as make GP appointments. Check to make sure you have enough over the counter remedies for coughs and colds so you don’t need to leave home unless you have to.
To keep up to date with the latest forecasts keep an eye on the Met Office website, https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ and for more advice on how to stay health and well during the cold weather visit www.nhs.co.uk/staywell