NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging his constituents to look out for friends and family during this cold spell of weather.

Mr Hamilton, is backing a call from Public Health Wales, who are asking members of the pubic to be extra vigilant for those who may be vulnerable to the cold.

Every winter thousands of people fall ill, and many die, because of exposure to cold both in the home and whilst outdoors.

Mr Hamilton said: “As the very cold wintry weather sweeps across parts of Wales, it is vital to keep a look out for those people who are most at risk, including older people and very young children.

“People suffering from lung and heart disease are also at risk, so we all need to make sure that we keep in touch with family, friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold.

“In the UK, there are many more deaths in winter because of the cold weather and people at risk, especially those over 65 and suffering from long term health conditions, should seriously think about having the flu jab.   It is free to certain groups and well worth the extra protection.”

Huw Brunt, Lead Consultant in Environmental Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said that they were advising the pubic to be vigilant, and take special care with friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold.

He said: “Most of us are well used to winter in this country so we know what to do to protect our health before and during cold spells. But there are people who may not take precautions and who are at a very real risk.

“Avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold related illness or falls.  And if you are fit and able, discuss with friends and neighbours about clearing snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby,” he added.

Other key advice from Public Health Wales, during the cold weather, includes:

  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over.
  • Stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries or ask a friend to help.
  • Take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days.
  • Seek entitlements and benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, which are available to some.

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