A Cold Weather Health Warning has been issued by KFL&A Public Health for the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington area.
The warning comes as Environment Canada forecasts temperatures dropping below -25°C tonight as well as periodically through the week and into the weekend.
Public Health issues Cold Weather Health Warnings when he temperature is forecast to be -25°C or colder, when a wind chill of -28°C or colder is forecast, or when extreme weather conditions—blizzard or severe snow storm—are forecast for the KFL&A area by Environment Canada.
There is an increased risk of hypothermia for people who stay outside for long periods of time without adequate protection in very cold weather.
Overexposure to cold temperatures can result in serious injury. Those at greatest risk from cold injuries include infants, the elderly, homeless, outdoor workers, recreation enthusiasts and people who consume excess alcohol.
The Medical Officer of Health provided the following recommendations to prevent cold injuries that include hypothermia and frostbite:
- Wear several layers of clothing and make sure that the outer layer protects you from wind and wetness.
- Cover exposed skin (i.e., hats, mittens, face mask) to protect against frostbite.
- Drink warm fluids that do not contain caffeine or alcohol, to prevent dehydration.
- Maintain a heated indoor environment above 20°C; hypothermia can even occur indoors when temperatures are 16°C (61°F) or lower.
- Avoid outdoor strenuous exercise during cold spells.
- Check frequently on elderly and vulnerable people; ensure they are in a safe and warm environment.
- Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia—know what to do!
A list of Emergency shelters and “Warm Up Here” locations can be found on the City of Kingston’s Extreme Weather page.