Cold weather alert – advice on keeping warm and well

Published: 31 January 2019

Slough Borough Council is issuing advice to residents following a cold weather alert from the Met Office.

A level three alert, indicating a 90% probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and snow, will be in place in the south east, including Slough, from today (31 January) until tomorrow (Friday 1 February).

It is expected to be very cold throughout today, tonight and tomorrow with snow forcast days and nights.

Cold weather can be bad for people’s health, with the over 65s, low income families and people living with a disability or a medical condition most at risk.

The council’s public health team has issued some advice about keeping warm and well this winter and to help you look after yourself and others.

  • Keep warm – heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You may prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed on a winter’s night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
  • Don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats - visit your local pharmacist for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover more quickly.
  • Layer your clothing whether you are indoors or outside - wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside.
  • When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Get up, stretch your legs and make yourself a warm drink.
  • Put several layers of clothing on children; make sure their head, neck and hands are covered. If they then get warm, they can take one layer off at a time. Dress babies and young children in one more layer than an adult would wear.
  • In drier winter air everyone loses more water through their breath. Keep drinking and try warm drinks and soup for extra appeal.
  • Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks and stock up on tinned and frozen foods so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep heat generated inside your rooms.

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Prolonged periods of cold weather can be dangerous to people’s health, especially for young children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

“As we get older it takes us longer to warm up and this raises the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. This makes it particularly important that our older and more vulnerable residents stay warm and take care of themselves.

“Some people find it difficult to cope with cold weather by themselves so we urge everyone to look out for their family, friends and neighbours who might need a helping hand.”