Key messages for staying safe during cold weather

Severe cold weather is a health hazard.

Cold weather presents various hazards including increased exposure to viruses, higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and road safety issues and physical injuries from icy conditions.

Get vaccinated for Flu, COVID-19, and Pneumococcus.

Winter is virus season, so it’s really important to get vaccinated. You may be eligible for a free vaccine, so make sure you’re up to date.

Those over 65 and young children are at increased risk in cold weather.

Some people are more vulnerable to extreme weather. Take extra care if you are over the age of 65. Young children are vulnerable to losing heat quickly – follow the advice to make sure they stay safe in the cold weather.

Those with medical conditions may need to take extra precautions.

If you suffer from heart, lung, or kidney problems, or have diabetes or osteoporosis you may need to take specific precautions so that you stay well during cold weather.

Take care on the road – see Road Safety Advice.

Icy conditions can make road conditions dangerous, whether you are driving or walking. Follow the Road Safety Authority’s advice on road safety in cold weather.

Learn how to keep yourself and your home warm.

Heat your environment safely so that you can be comfortable at home. Beware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and always follow fire safety advice.

How to safely ventilate your room in cold weather.

It’s important to continue to ventilate your environment properly during cold weather to reduce the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and virus transmission. Follow the advice to learn how to safely do this when it’s cold outside.

Beware of the risks of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hypothermia and frostbite are medical emergencies. Follow the advice here while waiting for medical help, if you suspect someone has hypothermia or frostbite.

Manage your medical condition and medications properly in cold weather.

Plan ahead if you need special medications or treatments, like dialysis or insulin. Changes in temperature can spoil medicines, so make sure they’re stored properly.

Follow advice for how to keep your children safe and manage breastfeeding during power cuts.

Fire safety when using candles during a power cut is very important. Consider storage of breastmilk if your fridge goes down and whether you have frozen stocks.

Last Updated: 12 January 2024