With temperatures set to drop over the coming days doctors are reminding people to look after themselves over winter.

Wintry weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications for people with a long-term health condition.

NHS Dorset is therefore offering the following advice to people to stay warm and healthy.

  • If you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18C
  • Keep your bedroom at 18C all night if you can – and keep bedroom window closed
  • If you’re under 65, healthy and active, you can safely have your home cooler than 18C, as long as you’re comfortable
  • Use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed – but do not use both at the same time
  • Have at least one hot meal a day – eating regularly helps keep you warm
  • Have hot drinks regularly
  • To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should sleep in rooms heated to between 16C and 20C
  • Draw curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to block out draughts
  • Get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional.

Dr Forbes Watson is a local GP and chair of the Dorset General Practice Alliance.

He said: “With cold weather forecast over the coming days we are asking anyone who may consider themselves at risk, in particular those people with long term health conditions to take extra care and stay safe.

"If you have family, friends or know of anyone who may be vulnerable, please check in on them to see if they need any help – those little things can make a big difference.

“During the cold snap if you have any concerns about your health or that of a loved one, please use 111.nhs.uk or call 111.” 

People are also being encouraged to support each other by donating to food banks, volunteer, check in with friends, be kind to each other and support those leaving hospital.

To find out more visit www.staywelldorset.nhs.uk/littlethings. or via helpandkindness.co.uk.

To keep an eye on the latest weather forecast – visit www.metoffice.gov.uk