Health Unit says stay warm, and careful, during extreme cold weather

December 28, 2017 by

Cold GoodThe Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is advising everyone to take the appropriate precautions for the next few days as the extremely cold temperatures are expected to continue.

A release from the Unit states: Cold weather can cause very serious health conditions and even death. Unprotected skin can freeze in as little as 10-30 minutes, and the risk of developing hypothermia is high. During very cold weather, everyone is at risk; however the elderly, infants and children, people taking certain prescription medications, and people with pre-existing health conditions are in greater danger. There is also an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia for outdoor workers and people living without adequate heat or shelter.

During these cold temperatures, the Health Unit strongly encourages the public to check on family members, neighbours, or friends who may be isolated, disabled, living alone, or without sufficient shelter and who maybe at greater risk of suffering cold weather related injuries. During cold weather everyone should take the following precautions:

  • Wear layers of warm dry clothing including a hat, mitts, and clothing to block the wind.
  • Drink warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages.
  • Cover exposed skin surfaces when outdoors.
  • Maintain a heated environment of around 20oC/ 68oF.
  • Be aware of how your medications or health conditions may increase your risk.
  • Be aware of the early signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Be aware of the dangers of using an oven or space heater as a heating device.
  • Keep a winter driving survival kit in your vehicle and be sure to check the weather and road conditions before you travel.

For more information on how to protect yourself during extreme cold visit the Health Unit website at: www.healthunit.org. For specific cold weather questions call the Health Action Line at 1-800-660-5853 or 613-345-5685. Connect with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter for important public health updates.

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