10 SIMPLE WAYS TO STAY WARM & SAFE THIS WINTER by Maria Dorfner

How to stay warm & safe in your home during the cold season if you don’t have someone to cuddle.

1. Daytime Warmth & Safety:

  • heat your main living room to around 64-70°F and rest of house to at least 61°F
  • heat all the rooms you use in the day
  • keep your living room warm throughout day and heat bedroom before going to bed; set timer on your heating to come on before you get up & switch off when you go to bed
  • In very cold weather, set the heating to come on earlier, rather than turn the thermostat up.

2. Evening Warmth & Safety:

  • try to keep the temperature above 65°F in your bedroom overnight
  • open the window or door a little at night for ventilation if you use a fire or heater in your bedroom
  • never use hot water bottles in the same bed as an electric blanket, even if blanket is off
  • unplug blankets before you go to bed, unless they have a thermostat control for safe all-night use
  • Electric blankets and heaters – safe use

3. Insulate:

Insulation will also help to keep your heating costs down. It’s a good idea to:

  • fit draught-proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors
  • make sure your place has at least 10–11 inches of insulation
  • make sure wall cavities are insulated
  • insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes

4. Bundle Up:

  • wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one
  • put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves and warm shoes or boots when you go outside
  • wear clothes made of wool, cotton or fleecy synthetic fibres
  • wear bed socks and thermal underwear at night

5. Get Annual Flu Shot If You:

  • have serious heart, lung or kidney disease or diabetes
  • have a weak immune system, caused by disease or medical treatment
  • have had a stroke or TIA (transient ischaemic attack)
  • are aged 65 years or over
  • are pregnant

6. Eat Regular Meals:

  • have plenty of hot food and drinks
  • plan your meals and keep your diet as varied as possible
  • aim to include five portions of fruit and vegetables daily

7. Keep Moving:

Exercise is good for your overall health and it can keep you warm in winter. Even a small amount of exercise can bring health benefits. If possible, try to move around at least once an hour.

8. Know Signs of Hypothermia:

Hypothermia is caused by getting too cold. Older people, babies and people with certain health conditions are among those more at risk.

Shivering can be used as a guide to how severe hypothermia is. If a person can stop shivering on their own, the hypothermia is mild. If they can’t stop shivering, it’s moderate to severe. Severe hypothermia needs urgent medical treatment in hospital.

9. Know Signs of Raynaud’s phenomenon:

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/vascular/raynauds.aspx

10. If All Else Fails, Travel to a Warmer Climate:

It’s estimated close to 4,000 birds migrate south at winter.  You could join ’em.  Hence, the term “Snow Bird.”

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