Freezing conditions and snow showers expected across Cambridgeshire - health chiefs urge people to take extra care and look after family members

The Met Office have issued a cold weather warning

The Met Office have issued a cold weather warning - Credit: Archant

Health chiefs are urging people to take extra care of themselves and look out for family members ahead of expected freezing conditions and snow showers across Cambridgeshire.

The advice comes after the Met Office issued a Level 3 cold weather alert, with freezing conditions expected from 3pm today (11) and lasting until 9pm on Sunday (15).

Val Thomas, consultant in public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Remember to check weather forecasts and plan the day around them. Take extra care if outside to prevent any accidental slips from icy snowy pavements.

“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.

“When indoors it is critical that people stay warm, particularly if you’re 65 or over, have long term health conditions or young children.

“Wear lots of thin layers, eat regular warm and well-balanced meals and remember that moving about will help keep you warm.”

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Dr Alex Manning, a GP in Burwell, said: “Overall cold weather is pretty bad for our health. Not just bringing colds and coughs but it can also increase the chance of heart attack, stroke breathing problems, falls and injuries and it can affect mental health. “This is why it’s important to follow a few tips to keep warm, and in turn, keep well, when the weather is very cold.”

A Level 3 alert is triggered when severe weather is occurring, meaning average temperatures have dropped to 2C.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s top tips to look after health in cold weather are:

• Look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately.

• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.

• Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help.

• Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.

• If eligible seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.

• If you meet the criteria register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.

• Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls

• Discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby.