Pensioners urged to wrap up warm to fight off big chill

ICE, ICE BABY From left, Nicole Worrall and Demme Moody break the ice on the duck ponds at Staunton Country Park.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (120381-951)
ICE, ICE BABY From left, Nicole Worrall and Demme Moody break the ice on the duck ponds at Staunton Country Park. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120381-951)

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PENSIONERS are being urged to take extra measures to keep warm as the cold snap goes on.

Health groups are advising them to wrap up and avoid scrimping on their heating bills.

The bout of chilly weather, caused by cold air from the continent, is predicted to continue into the weekend.

Dan Rubin of Age UK Portsmouth, said: ‘Our advice has always been to not scrimp on heating at this time of the year.

‘Pensioners need to keep warm and worry about their bills later.

‘They need to eat warm food and wrap up well.

‘Windows need to be kept closed – now is not the time to think about getting some fresh air.

‘At this time of the year the risk of heart attacks and strokes is much higher than normal.

‘By taking more care you can avoid these risks.’

Dr Jenifer Smith, from Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Primary Care Trust, said: ‘Keeping active can help keep you warm and it’s good for your general fitness and wellbeing too.

‘So when indoors try not to sit for more than an hour.

‘Get up and walk around, make yourself a warm drink and spread chores throughout the day.

The advice comes as Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service urged parents to warn youngsters about the dangers of ice-covered lakes, ponds, rivers.

Steve Trevethick, area manager for Community Safety at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘Venturing on to frozen ponds, lakes and open water is extremely dangerous.

‘The hazards include drowning, asphyxia, and hypothermia. If the ice gives way then it can trap you, and when the weather is like this hypothermia sets in very quickly.

‘Children are particularly at risk, and parents and guardians are asked to remind them of the dangers.’

According to Met Office weather experts, light snow and severe frost could hit Portsmouth tomorrow evening.

Temperatures are expected to dip to below freezing.

Helen Thivers, a forecaster for the Met Office, said: ‘We advise everyone to check the latest forecast before making any journey plans.’

She added: ‘People should now be aware that they have to prepare themselves for very low temperatures.’