Icy blast sends chilly reminder to stay warm and well

Tuesday May 28, 2013

The polar winter blast today sends a chilly message to keep warm and well this winter and to look after yourself and others.
Many Cantabrians are facing their third winter living in crowded, damp and cold houses because of the earthquakes, which makes it even more important for people to do all they can to stay well.
Dr Cheryl Brunton, Canterbury medical officer of health, says having a flu vaccine is the first step in preventing influenza over the colder months.
It is available from your general practice team and is free for under 18s, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and anyone with a chronic illness such as asthma.
“The flu vaccine is the best protection to help make you flu strong and combining it  with eating well, staying fit and healthy and keeping your home warm and healthier during the winter months, is your best chance to prevent you and your family from getting sick. If you are feeling unwell call your family doctor,” Dr Brunton says.
Having a warm and dry home is also vital for good health, as cold homes and unhealthy lifestyles can cause illnesses, she says.
“Taking steps now to keep warm and well this winter might even be life saving and there are some easy things you can do to keep your family well this winter.”
Dr Brunton says to stay well we need to take care of ourselves physically and mentally, and do all we can to make our homes as warm and dry as possible.
“Look out for the older people in your life too. Don’t forget to check on the elderly neighbour down the road or older relatives living alone. Make sure their house is warm and safe and they are eating properly,” she says.
“Staying well means more than just keeping warm. Building five actions into your day-to-day life will help your wellbeing this winter:  Connect, Keep Learning, Be Active, Give, and Take Notice.”
Canterbury’s electricity network was damaged by the earthquakes, so it’s important to also prepare for possible power cuts.
Government and community organisations are working together to help keep Canterbury families warm and well this winter. The Earthquake support co-ordination service can put you in touch with whichever service you need. Their number is 0800 777 846.
Information on the support available to keep you home warm and family well can also be found at www.healthychristchurch.org.nz
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Page last reviewed: 09 July 2013