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Big freeze health warning
[Posted: Mon 29/11/2010 www.irishhealth.com]
People are being reminded by the HSE and Department of Health to be extra vigilant during the renewed big freeze and to check on vulnerable and elderly people who could be at risk.
The majority of health services around the country are operating as normal despite the deteriorating weather conditions.
People are asked to be extra careful in order to avoid injury from slips and falls on icy footpaths.
The record levels of Ice and snow are leading to an increase in the number of people presenting with sprains and fractures as a result of slips and falls.
The HSE says people can reduce the risk by wearing non-slip shoes or boots, walking slowly and keeping your hands out of your pockets to help protect you in the case of a slip or fall.
It said the elderly and vulnerable may need additional support during this adverse weather.
"People should pay a visit to elderly neighbours to ensure that they have adequate food, heating and prescription medicines. The elderly can be particularly prone to hypothermia and pneumonia when temperatures dip, so ensuring they have enough heat and hot food and regular hot drinks is particularly important to their well-being at this time."
Below are some tips for staying well and warm in your own house
If you cannot afford to keep the temperature in your entire house at 18-20 degrees Celsius, concentrate on keeping a few rooms you use at this level;
Dress correctly – wear layers, rather than one thick layer of clothing. Maybe wear a woolen or fleece hat in bed, and don't forget to keep on your socks as well;
Remain active – don’t stay sitting in the one spot for long periods. Spread your chores throughout the day to ensure to keep moving. Exercise daily, but avoid risks in wet/icy conditions;
Eat well – have at least one hot meal a day. Sip hot drinks regularly. Keep a flask of hot drink by the bed, in case you wake up cold;
Make sure you use your free electricity or gas units, if you receive the Household Benefits package;
Keep in contact with family and friends by telephone on a daily basis; arrange to have someone check on you if they haven't heard from you in a given period of time.
Stock up provisions (canned goods and items for the freezer) during any thaw, in case there is further icy weather and you cannot go out;
Seal gaps around windows and doors.
Met Éireann has issued a new severe weather alert warning of heavy snow showers in Munster, Connacht and Leinster today, with fall of around four-and-a-half inches.
A rise in temperatures is not expected to begin until the weekend.
Motorists are advised to drive only if absolutely necessary.
|Anonymous Posted: 04/01/2011 16:09|
And mishaps can happen in an instant. I phoned my elderly mother two days before Christmas eve and she was fine. 20 minutes after I put down the phone, she rushed outside to alert a neighbour that their chimney was on fire, slipped on the icy path, fell and injured her ribs. It could have been a lot worse and thankfully she's in the habit of keeping her mobile phone oin her pocket all the time.
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