December 12, 2017: With the first official day of winter almost here, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is reminding residents to be aware of the forecast and to take precautions to stay safe during periods of extreme cold weather. Whenever temperatures are expected to be dangerously low, Environment Canada will issue an extreme cold weather warning for the region.
Exposure to extreme cold weather can cause serious health problems and can even be life-threatening. Frostbite occurs when blood flow to your extremities is restricted, particularly your fingers and toes. Exposed skin can become frostbitten in minutes. In severe cases frostbite can result in amputation. Prolonged exposure to extreme cold can result in hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops too low, and it can lead to organ failure and death.
Public Health recommends taking a number of important precautions for extreme cold weather. Make a daily habit of checking the weather and limit your time outside when the temperature drops. Cover exposed skin by dressing in layers with a wind-resistant and waterproof outer layer. Also wear waterproof boots, a hat, and mittens or gloves.
Remember to check in with vulnerable family members and neighbours when it’s very cold to make sure they are safe. For more information about extreme cold weather precautions visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca.
Chuck Ferguson, Communications Manager
1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374