Frigid temperatures prompt Cold Weather Alert

(File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Mirage3)

With arctic air hanging over the region, the Middlesex London Health Unit has issued a Cold Weather Alert.

The health unit issued the alert on Friday afternoon, as Environment Canada predicts the temperature will fall to -17C on Friday night. The forecast calls for a daytime high of -12C on Saturday and an overnight low of -18C.

“The potential damage that winter weather can do to the body shouldn’t be underestimated,” said Environmental Health Manager David Pavletic. “It is going to be very important over the next day or so to dress accordingly and cover any exposed skin to prevent cold-related injuries such as frostbite or hypothermia.”

The health unit recommends to anyone planning on spending time outdoors that they make sure they dress appropriately in order to avoind cold-related injuries.

“Cold conditions and strong winds can damage exposed skin and lead to frostbite,” is said. “Symptoms of frostbite include skin turning red, blue or in later stages, grayish-white. Individuals may experience pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in the fingers, toes, ears and nose, which are most susceptible to the cold. If you suspect frostbite, warm the affected area by
placing it next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, but not hot, water.”

The health unit says the affected area should not be rubbed. It also says, in the event of severe or blistering frostbite, a person should seek emergency medical treatement.

The Cold Weather Alert is expected to be in effect until Sunday morning.