Time to bundle up.
The Middlesex-London Health unit is issuing a cold weather advisory after Environment Canada forecasted temperatures reaching -15 degrees celsius each night of the weekend. The advisory is effective immediately and will continue until Monday.
Randy Walker, the Public Health Inspector at the MLHU recognizes the variance in weather the past week.
“The rapid drop in temperature expected tonight will be a quick change from the warmer weather we’ve been experiencing this week.”
The advisory recommends that anyone spending time outside to dress accordingly. This means wearing many layers including insulated gloves and mittens as body heat is quickly lost through exposed skin.
“We need to prepare and to make sure that we’re not caught in the extreme cold unexpectedly. At these temperatures, the cold can damage exposed skin in a matter of a few minutes.”
Overexposure to cold weather could result in frostbite or hypothermia.
Symptoms of hypothermia include:
- Shivering (although shivering may decrease as body temperature drops)
- Pale skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Shallow breathing
Symptoms of frostbite include:
- Skin turning red, blue or in the later stages of frostbite, a grey/white colour
- Numbness and stiffness (especially in extremities)
It is important to note that if you suspect frostbite, put skin in warm water, but not hot water and do not rub the affected area.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing any symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite, get to a warm environment and allow for a re-warming period of up to 60 minutes. If symptoms do not improve or get worse, seek emergency medical treatment.
If you see someone in distress due to cold, contact London CAReS at 519-667-2273 or contact 9-1-1 if you feel the situation is a medical emergency.