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Doctors urge people to stay warm and safe in the cold weather

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

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MEDICS have urged people to take extra care to stay safe and well in the cold snap.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board says snow can be fun, especially for children, but icy weather can also bring an increase in illness and injuries.

GP Sean Young said: "Very cold weather does affect people's health.

"We see an increase in flu, hypothermia, heart attacks and falls injuries. The very young, old and those with existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable."

Dr Young said people should stock up on basic over-the-counter medicines such as cold remedies, pain relief and a first aid kit.

They should also keep warm and remember to have warm food and drinks regularly.

Higher-risk people such as the frail and elderly or those with chronic medical conditions should not go out into the cold unless they had to.

Dr Young added: "If you have older neighbours or relatives, check on them to make sure they are safe, warm and well."

Trauma and orthopaedic consultant Dougie Russell said: "Every winter we have an increase in patients arriving at emergency departments with broken bones from falling in the snow and ice.

"In some cases this means having a wrist, arm or leg in a plaster cast for a few weeks. But others can be much more serious and very painful, requiring an operation and stay in hospital to put things right.

"Take extra care and remember to wear warm clothes and non-slip shoes."

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