Dr David Crichton’s blog: A seasonal message

Brrrr! It’s been cold in Doncaster!

 

There could be more freezing weather to come, so we all need to be prepared for it.

Winter conditions can seriously affect your health, particularly for very young children, people aged 65 or older, and those with long-term conditions such as breathing difficulties, Asthma, Diabetes, Heart and Kidney disease.

Being cold can raise blood pressure and the increase the risk of having a heart attack and stroke.

Here are a few top tips to help you through the long winter months.

Make sure you get your flu jab. The flu virus strikes in the winter months and can on occasions be far more serious than you think. Flu can also lead to serious complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, and for a few people 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. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/getflujab

Check and stock your medicine cabinet. Many over-the counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments, such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or earache.

Keep warm. It’s important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors. Heat your home to at least 18 degrees C (65 degrees F). You might prefer your living room to be warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights. Keep mobile, try not to sit still for more than an hour. Wear several layers of light clothes as they trap warm air better than a single bulky layer.

Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – seek advice from your nearest chemist. Pharmacists are skilled professionals with a wealth of knowledge.

Call 111. If you need medical help but its not an absolute emergency.

The Doncaster Same Day Health Centre. Is open every day of the year if your GP surgery is closed and you think you need to see someone. Ring 0300 123 3103 to get an appointment within 24 hours.

Prescriptions. Make sure you get your prescription medicines early, before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for Christmas. You can also order your prescriptions online. To sign up to GP online services ask at your practice or to find out more visit www.nhs.uk/GPonlineservices

Look out for other people. Remember that 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 frail. Make sure they are stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days in case they can’t go out. If they do need to go out, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.

Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018.​