Health experts advising us to wear socks and hats to bed to keep warm
WE should retire to bed in the old-fashioned way, wearing bed socks and a night cap to keep the cold at bay, the Department of Health advised yesterday.
The back-to-basics advice also urges us to don warm pyjamas or a night dress to keep us cosy during freezing night temperatures.
And we should keep a flask with a hot drink by our beds, according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Philip Crowley.
Behind the homespun guidance, however, lies a serious message as concern grows about the risks posed by the unrelenting bad weather, particularly to older people, children, those with a disability and people with a long-term illness.
"It is important that we all take the recommended precautions given the unusually prolonged and severe cold weather," said Dr Crowley.
"It is expected that the current spell will continue and be more severe in parts of the country.
"We must look out for each other in our communities to make sure no one is stranded or in difficulties," he said. The Department also cautioned that "food is fuel" and we should all be eating well.
It also advises:
- Keep active by walking around the house regularly.
- Wear several layers of light clothes instead of one thick layer.
- Wear clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy synthetic fibres.
- Keep the living room warm throughout the day -- at 21C if you are active, or 24C if you are inactive.
- If the temperature falls below 16C you could be at risk of hypothermia -- when your body gets too cool to function properly.
- Close the curtains in the evening.
- Heat your bedroom before going to bed and make sure the room is warm before you get up in the morning.
The department also cautions that older people may be isolated in their homes as they are cautious about the conditions for walking outside.
Therefore it is important that we all make sure our elderly relatives and neighbours are safe, warm and have the necessary supplies and any prescription drugs that they need.