Posted On: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Extreme cold puts everyone at risk however; the risks are greater for young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses, people working or exercising outdoors, and those without proper shelter. Adverse health effects can occur as a direct result of exposure to excessive cold such as hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling/uncoordinated movements, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness.
Frostbite: White/grayish skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, or numbness.
Consult a healthcare provider or call Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000 or TTY at 1-877-797-0007) if you experience any of the above symptoms.
• If you must go outside, cover up and dress warmly with several layers. The outer layer should be wind resistant. Frostbite can develop within minutes to exposed skin, especially with wind chill. Avoid overexertion when shovelling snow and take several breaks.
• Check on older family, friends and neighbors.
• Bring pets inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.