Cold Weather Alert Issued For Elgin County

Sunday March 2, 2014 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elgin County – The Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Franklin Warsh, has issued a COLD WEATHER ALERT for Elgin County based on the Environment Canada issuance of Wind chill warnings of below -30 ° C for Elgin County where the ambient low air temperature will plunge to -23 ° C Sunday night and Monday morning.
This 7th Cold Weather Alert for 2014 will be in effect as of this evening, Sunday March 2nd, 2014 and throughout Monday March 3rd until further notice.
The residents of Elgin County should take precautions during this cold weather alert. Overexposure to cold may result in hypothermia, which occurs when a person’s body temperature drops below normal. Normal body temperature ranges from 36.1 to 37.8° Celsius (97 to 100° Fahrenheit).

Symptoms of hypothermia may include:
. pale skin

. lethargy

. confusion and hallucinations

. In the initial stages a person may shiver considerably, but as their body temperature drops, shivering may also decrease

In a severe case of hypothermia a person may display the following symptoms:
. the person is unconscious

. breathing is shallow

. pulse is irregular and hard to detect

– cont’d –
If someone is found with these symptoms, immediate emergency medical treatment is necessary to prevent coma or death. If you suspect someone may be suffering from hypothermia:
. seek medical attention immediately

. if possible, move the person to a warm area and dress them in warm clothing

. offer warm water, juice or milk

. do not offer alcohol or hot drinks

To avoid hypothermia or frostbite people are advised to:
. dress warmly; layer clothing

. wear a hat – 30% of body heat escapes through the head

. drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration (please note that drinks containing caffeine can dehydrate)

. avoid alcohol

. limit outdoor activity

Symptoms of frostbite include:
. skin turning red, blue or a gray/white

. pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in fingers, toes, ears and nose which are most susceptible

If you suspect frostbite:
. warm the affected area next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, not hot water

. do not rub the area; re-warming may take 30-60 minutes

. seek emergency medical treatment for a severe, blistering case of frostbite

WHAT THE PUBLIC CAN DO DURING A COLD WEATHER ALERT

Members of the public can help by checking on elderly and handicapped neighbours to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to cold temperatures and to call Emergency Services for help if needed.

Parents should ensure that children walking home from school are adequately protected from the harsh weather conditions. Consider providing transportation for children with long walks home from school.

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