Scots urged to stay safe while bringing in the bells

Doctors have warned revellers there is an 'increased danger' of suffering from hypothermia due to the current cold weather.

Scots urged to stay safe in New Year’s celebrations as NHS issue health advice Andy Roberts via Getty Images

Scots planning to celebrate Hogmanay are being urged by NHS Scotland to stay safe and consider their health.

Sunday will see Scots bring in the bells with family and friends as planned New Year’s Eve events are set to take place across the country at the weekend.

But health experts are warning those enjoying the Hogmanay festivities to think about their health and wellbeing, with cold weather conditions expected to compound Scots consuming more alcohol.

And while there is time to celebrate with loved ones, Dr Chris Deighan, executive medical director at NHS Lanarkshire is urging party-goers to look after themselves as the celebrations to ring in 2024 begin.

Doctors are stressing that the cold weather can cause body temperatures to fall despite consuming alcohol and that there is an ‘increased danger’ of suffering from hypothermia.

He said: “This is the time of year when many people are either out and about or at home celebrating the start of a new year. We want people to enjoy themselves but also think about their safety, and their health.

“It should be a happy and enjoyable time but it can also be a time when you can put yourself at risk of serious harm by drinking too much and not paying attention to your safety or those around you.

Hogmanay celebrations will be taking place across the country.

“Alcohol and the cold can be a dangerous combination, and contrary to popular belief, going out into the fresh air does not sober you up and alcohol doesn’t ‘heat you up’ when you are cold.

“When you drink alcohol although your face may feel flushed and your skin warmer, your body actually quickly loses heat as the blood is rushing to the skin. Your body temperature may fall without you actually realising it, bringing an increased danger of hypothermia.”

Dr Deighan wants Scots to have an evening to remember but not one to forget as he urged groups to stay together.

He added: “It is easy to continue with alcoholic drinks all night but consider alternating with soft drinks to help you stay hydrated. Also think about how you are getting home if you are out and about, and never leave drinks unattended.

“Go out and have fun but make it an evening to remember and not one to forget.”

Healthcare advice over the New Year is available on the NHS’ Winter Hub section of its website.

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