Winter essentials for your whole family

How to keep winter ailments and bay and stay warm this winter. Some essential tips to keep healthy during the festive season
Winter warmth

Winter is the most festive time of the year for all the family. But the cold can also make us more susceptable to common winter ailments such as the common cold and flu. Keeping warm is essential to ensure we can enjoy the festive season whilst keeping these nasty bugs at bay. This is more important for the elderly who can be more vulnerable to changes in the weather. 

Here's some tips to help you and your family stay healthy this winter. 

  • Stay warm when indoors
  • Wrap up when going outdoors
  • Get your winter vaccinations
  • Eat well.... its not all about the mince pies 
  • Stop the spread of germs
  • Check your medicines cabinet

Stay warm this winter

Whilst it can be fun to enjoy the cold weather and snow, it is essential to keep warm to protect our bodies from catching nasty bugs in the winter. 

  • Wearing layers of warm clothing protects from the cold more than just one or two items. Make sure you have extra layers when going outdoors. This can also help if you get too warm as you can take extra layers off if needed so your always comfortable.

  • Make sure children are wrapped up when going outdoors with extra layers, hats, gloves and scarves. Keep some warm towels handy if they've just played in the snow to dry off as soon as they are back indoors. 

  • Keeping houses warmed up to at least 18oC will help to stay comfortable in the living area

  • Hot water bottles, duvets or heated blankets aren't just for night time. These are also helpful to stay cosy whilst enjoying warm drinks through the day.

  • Check your heating is working correctly and if you have elderly parents, relatives or neighbours, pay them a visit and make sure their houses are also warm. 

Get your winter vaccinations

Vaccinations are one of the best ways of preventing harmful viruses taking hold in the winter. Whilst they don't protect from all colds and flu's, the NHS winter vaccination programme ensures we are protected against the most harmful strains of flu each winter. This is most important for those classed as vulnerable who will be given the vaccination free from their GP or pharmacy, but just as important for everyone else to stop the flu spreading and protecting those around them. Getting the flu vaccines this winter means flu is less likely to spread. 

Eat well.... its not all about the mince pies

Eating a varied diet full of different vitamins and minerals helps keep our body and immune system working well to help it fight against any illnesses and keep our bodies working correctly. Whilst enjoying those festive treats, also make sure you keep to the general advice on healthy eating to stay healthy through the winter

  • Eat at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day

  • Eat a varied balanced diet

  • Have warm drinks often to help keep warm 

  • Drink plenty of water 

  • Take a multivitamin to ensure you reach your daily requirements. Whilst a general multivitamin will provide most essential nutrients, Vitamin C and zinc supplements can help when fighting a cold to help give our immune system a much needed boost in the winter. 

Stop the spread of germs

Stopping germs spreading is just as important as vaccinations in preventing the spread of winter illnesses. 

  • Use disposable tissues to catch any germs when coughing, sneezing or when you have a runny nose and dispose of them as soon as possible. 

  • Use alcohol hand gels to kill any germs on our hands when outdoors

  • Wash hands frequently in warm water for atleast 20 seconds, especially after using tissues

  • Wear gloves and face coverings when in public 

Check your medicines cabinet

Whilst we can do our best to prevent catching a cold, it is inevitable that some of us will get some form of winter ailments. Keeping our medicine cabinet stocked with some essentials can help to fight off colds at the first signs so we can recover sooner and enjoy the festive season

  • Mentholated rubs and inhalations can help to relieve most symptoms of colds and flus such as Vicks Vaporub and inhalations

  • Products containing paracetamol and phenylephrine can help to fight temperature and blocked noses. Some products are available to use in hot water such as Lemsip sachets, ideal for extra relief in the cold

  • Vitamin C and zinc supplements can help to boost our immune system when fighting colds. 

  • First defence sprays help to catch germs before they can take hold

  • Prevent dry lips with petroleum jelly lip balms to stop them cracking in the cold. 

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