It’s that time of year when sniffling, coughing and sneezing starts, and we all need to take a little extra care to stay well in the cold! However, there are a few precautions you and your family can take, to make this Winter a healthier one…
Get the flu jab
Flu is grim so do all you can to avoid it. You’re eligible for a free flu vaccination if you are pregnant, have a long-term health condition, are 65 and over, or if you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person.
Mums-to-be and those with long-term health conditions and older people are more likely to develop complications if they get flu, so it’s especially important to take advantage of the free jab. Speak to your GP or pharmacist.
Children aged two, three and four are eligible for a free vaccination with a pain-free and effective nasal spray, and as well as protecting your children, it will limit the risk of germs spreading to others. To get the vaccination speak to your GP.
Is your home winter ready?
Keeping warm helps prevent illness. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You might prefer your main living room slightly warmer.
Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating and keep up with your energy bills at www.gov.uk/keep-warm.
It’s also important to check your heating and cooking appliances are safe, which you can do by contacting a local Gas Safe engineer at gassaferegister.co.uk.
Have you thought about stocking up? Get some supplies in now to make sure you’ll have a well-balanced diet even when you can’t get to the shops. Frozen and tinned veg count as part of your five-a-day, but it’s best to look for versions with no added sugar or salt. Have a few ready meals in the freezer, but check the labels and choose ones lower in salt, fat and sugar. Don’t forget that basics, like lower-fat milk, bread and fat spreads can be frozen!
Check your medicine cabinet
Your local pharmacist can help if you feel unwell. Here’s how to stock up your medicine cabinet…
1. Get rid of any out-of-date medicines.
2. Restock with over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol and ibuprofen to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments.
3. Include antiseptic wipes, plasters, an antiseptic cream, sterile gauze dressings, sticky tape, a digital thermometer, and an eye-wash and bath.
4. Get your prescription medicines before Christmas Eve, when many GPs and pharmacies will be closing over the holidays. Do the same for any older relatives you look after.
5. Make sure your medicine cabinet is locked securely away from your kids.
To find out more about ways to stay well over winter, visit nhs.uk/staywell.