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Red Cross concerned over “beer jacket” myth

The British Red Cross has expressed its concern after a recent survey it carried out found that one in five people believe that donning a “beer jacket” can keep out the cold.

The beer jacket is another name given to having a drink in order to prevent the body from feeling the cold. The survey found that the figure rises to almost 50% among 18-24 year olds.

The survey was carried out ahead the Red Cross’s Get Ready for Winter campaign – a nationwide drive to encourage people to stay safe and prepare for severe weather.

Simon Lewis, head of British Red Cross emergency response, said: “It is a concern so many people appear to believe the myth that alcohol can keep you warm.

“It does the complete opposite. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate which cools the body and so drinking to warm up is not a good idea and can be dangerous.”

The Red Cross has a range of advice on planning for winter available on its website and added that preparing an emergency kit at home and for the car can make a difference in surviving should you get trapped by winter weather. The kit should include items like bottled water, contact numbers, insurance details, a torch, spare blanket and warm clothes and the temptation to include a hip flask should be resisted.

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