As colder weather sweeps across the area this weekend, NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people in Wolverhampton to take extra care. Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
The frail and elderly and those who care for them are being reminded of the importance of good food and drinking fluids in a special campaign supported by health leaders in the Black Country.
Nutrition and Hydration Week, which runs from 12-18 March, is an important annual campaign which focuses on promoting awareness and encouraging people to ensure good nutrition and hydration as part of their daily diet.
As colder weather sweeps across the area this week, NHS Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people in Wolverhampton to take extra care. Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.
The Met Office has issued a Level 3 cold weather alert for the West Midlands area and is urging caution during the severe weather conditions which could mean temperatures of 2°C and/or widespread ice and heavy snow.
Dr Salma Reehana, Chair at Wolverhampton CCG, said:
“Cold and damp weather – ice, snow and cold winds – can be bad for your health, especially if you're aged 65 or older. It can make you more vulnerable to winter illnesses, such as coughs and colds, which could become very serious. It also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke. However, there are things you can do to stay well.
“Remember to check weather forecasts and plan the day around them. Take extra care if outside to prevent any accidental slips from icy and snowy pavements. Clear paths outside your home if possible and if you have to go out, dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes to limit any falls. Also be sure to tell someone where you are going and an expected time when you will return. If you have a mobile phone, try to carry this with you, charged, so you can contact someone in case of an emergency.
“It’s important that you dress warmly, wear shoes with good grip if heading outside, and look out for vulnerable people. If able clear your drive & pathways to prevent accidents and keep your home heated to at least 18°C if you can. Ensure you have plenty of warm food and drinks to keep you warm.
“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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t forget 111
You can get advice 24 hours a day by calling NHS 111. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think you need one.
- 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.
- 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.
Eating disorders affect 1.25m people and can be devastating to sufferers and their families. But only 6% of adults diagnosed with an eating order show any visible symptoms.
A new campaign has been launched urging people to play their part so that, “Together, we can tackle child abuse”.
It encourages members of the public to help protect children and young people by reporting any concerns they may have about the possible abuse or neglect of a child to the City of Wolverhampton Council, the NSPCC or West Midlands Police.
The City of Wolverhampton Council and Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board are backing the campaign which was launched by the Department for Education amid fears that some people are failing to report their concerns because they are not certain of the signs of child abuse, don’t know where to report it, or are worried about being wrong.
As well as highlighting how people should go about reporting their concerns, the campaign also urges people to look out for the signs that could suggest a young person is being abused. These include changes in their ABC – their appearance, their behaviour and the way they communicate.
Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect.
The Met Office has issued a Level 3 cold weather alert and yellow weather warning for the Wolverhampton area from today Thursday 1 March until Saturday 3 March. The yellow weather warning is in place for snow, ice and strong winds.