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Stay well this winter 2017-18

Get ready for winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions. Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, bronchitis and pneumonia. But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter. Here are our top tips:

Make sure you get your flu jab

The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly.

That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. Children aged two, three, or four, or in school years one and two can have a free nasal spray flu vaccine. Just speak to your GP, or get your free jab through a participating pharmacy. Find out more 

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Keep warm

It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

  • Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F).
  • Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Because breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
  • Keep active when you’re indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so.
  • Wear several layers of light clothes because they trap warm air better than one bulky layer.
  • For more advice on how to keep warm and well this winter, please visit West Sussex Affordable Energy

Look out for other people

Remember that other people, like older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There’s a lot you can do to help people who are more frail than you.     

  • Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.
  • Make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out.
  • If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.

Do you know about local alternatives to A & E?

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Top tips to stay well this winter:

  • Warm – Keep your house warm this winter, at least 18 degrees C (65f), if you can.
  • Immunisations – Get your flu vaccination. Make sure your children get their immunisations: MNR, BCG, HPV, School Leavers Booster (SLB) & Meningitis ACWY. Over 70's to get their shingles vaccine.
  • Neighbours – Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives.
  • Timely – Seek immediate advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness.
  • Enough – Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies are closed over Christmas and New Year and take your medicines as directed.
  • Restock – Make sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboard.

Also eat wellremain active and be social - good for both your mental and physical health.