We may dream of a white Christmas, but when temperatures drop the cold and damp weather can be seriously bad for our health, especially for young children or older people.
NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has put together 5 simple tips to help you and your family to stay healthy this Christmas.
1. Stay warm
It’s important to keep warm throughout the winter – both inside and outdoors. This can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems like pneumonia.
Dr Dan Roper, NHS Hull CCG Chair said:
“Stay warm. It will go a long way towards helping you stay well this winter.
“Try to heat your home to at least 18?C (65?F), keep bedroom windows shut and wrap up in several layers of light clothing, rather than one bulky layer.”
2. Seek the right advice
Sarah Smyth, the NHS Hull CCG Executive Nurse, said:
“Winter can affect existing health problems, such as asthma or heart disease, and lead to complications. If you’re coming down with a cough or cold, and you suffer from a long term condition, don’t wait for it to get worse visit your pharmacist as soon as possible.
“It’s best to rest and drink plenty of fluids if you’re suffering from a common winter ailment.” Dr Dan Roper added. “The majority of winter bugs will clear up on their own in around 10 days and shouldn’t need to be seen by a GP.”
Visit https://www.hullccg.nhs.uk/staywell for bank holiday Pharmacy opening hours
3. Stock Up
If you have a long term health condition which requires regular prescription medicine make sure that you collect these in plenty of time before the Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays, and that you have enough for the period.
Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with the basics for common winter ailments like a cold, sore throat or cough. These illnesses can’t be treated with antibiotics, but painkillers, cough syrup and other remedies can help to ease the symptoms. Speak to your pharmacist to find out more.
4. Spread some cheer
For some people Christmas can be a lonely time; in winter a third of elderly people never or only occasionally socialise with family and friends.
Even for those who do get to socialise, the cold and icy conditions can make getting out and about difficult. You can make a big difference and help older people to stay well this winter by keeping in touch, a phone call or short visit could make someone’s day.
“There are lots of simple things you can do to help an older friend or relative stay well this winter. Make sure they’ve enough food and that they’re keeping warm.”
5. Just in case
Dr Roper commented:
“Accident and Emergency (A&E) is very busy and should only be used if completely necessary. If you’ve had a mishap, but it’s not a medical emergency, then visit a Minor Injury Unit instead. They can treat cuts, minor burns, sprains and many more injuries quickly and effectively.”
Minor injury units (MIUs) treat injuries that need to be cared for right away, but are not serious enough to require a trip to A&E.
Typically waiting times at MIUs are much shorter than A&E, appointments aren’t necessary and you can be seen at the MIU based in Bransholme Health Centre between 9am – 10pm every day – including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
For more information visit www.staywellthiswinter.co.uk