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Cold Weather Tyres and Cold Shoulders- beware of

misunderstandings Dr Janet M. Massey

During the recent snowy weather the AA was initially unclear about its message on winter or cold weather tyres. Obviously any tyres that increase grip on cold and wet roads are going to reduce the number of accidents,

and the special silica-containing rubbers function better under 7 deg C. On the Continent, insurers do not pay for accidents if summer tyres are found to be still on in winter conditions. Tyres are changed at the end of October and the end of March, at the sort of time that the clocks are adjusted.

Insurers in the UK were also very unsure of their position and some even suggested that insurance premiums would be raised if winter tyres were fitted, but they have now said that, providing the tyres are fitted according to the manufacturers' specifications, there will be no increase in premium. It may take a few more really snowy UK winters to show that those with winter tyres should have a lower insurance premium, as they will probably be involved in fewer accidents.

There is another sort of misunderstanding that concerns me as a General Practitioner. Many married couples are not talking to each other about their waning frequency of sexual intercourse. It should not be presumed that sexual function falls with age; it is more likely to be simply lack of 'quality time and place' and some determination. It seems sad that some failed attempts are treated as the inevitable end of lovemaking especially if some local hormone replacement for the wife or a bit of an 'afil' would solve it for the man. Viagra-like medications should be tried: in a marriage where the relationship was regular previously; the risk of problems with these medications is very, very low

and the benefits enormous particularly on 'happiness' and quality and length of life.

There were many warnings about the use of Viagra-like medications when they were first introduced. However the Germans examined all cases of heart-attack related deaths during the World Cup and showed very clearly that deaths only occurred in those who had been drinking heavily, had eaten a lot of unsuitable food and who had used viagra with an unusual partner in an atmosphere of 'heightened' excitement - an unlikely profile for our Felixstowe patients waiting for the better weather. Please do not be shy to discuss this topic with each other or someone in your GP Practice.

Young people prepared for a safer night out

A partnership team from across the district have been visiting young people in Felixstowe to lead an interactive information session about the risks of alcohol and ways to have a safer night out.

Year 10 pupils at Deben High School in Felixstowe took part in the sessions last week involving the Suffolk Coastal Community Safety Partnership (CSP), Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Youth and Connexion Services, The Matthew Project, NHS Suffolk, the Police and Extended Schools.

How to keep safe

The two days were spilt into different sessions focusing on alcohol and the effects, risks and how to keep safe, the effects of alcohol on the body and consequences of alcohol and the law. The day used interactive voting, real life experiences, safer night out scenarios and expert information to help educate and inform young people about the risks associated with drinking alcohol.


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