May 22,

Are You At Risk?

Are You At Risk?

Everyone can be affected by extremely cold temperatures, particularly when there is a wind.
However, the following groups or individuals are at greater risk of cold injuries:

  • children
  • seniors
  • the homeless
  • people with circulatory problems
  • people taking certain prescription medications
  • outdoor workers

Extra Caution: Seniors and people with disabilities who live alone

Health Risks of Extreme Cold: Know When to Get Help

Adverse health effects can occur as a direct result of exposure to excessive cold:

Hypothermia:

Symptoms/signs include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling/uncoordinated
movements, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness.

Frostbite:

Symptoms/signs include white/grayish skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy,or numbness.
Increases in other health problems can also be seen, especially for those with other chronic medical conditions such as heart conditions.

Wind chill is included in the forecast when it reaches -25 °C

Wind Chill Hazards and Risk of Frostbite
Wind Chill (°C) Risk of frostbite Health Concern What to do
0 to -9 Low -Slight increase in discomfort -Dress warmly, with the outside temperature in mind.
-10 to -27 Low -Uncomfortable-Risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate protection -Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind-resistant.-Wear a hat, mittens and scarf.-Keep active.
-28 to -39 Increasing risk: exposed skin can freeze in 10 to 30 minutes -Check face and extremities (fingers, toes, ears and nose) for numbness or whiteness-Risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate protection -Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer later that is wind-resistant.-Cover exposed skin: wear a hat, mittens and a scarf, neck tube or face mask-Keep active.
-40 to -47 High risk: exposed skin can freeze in 5 to 10 mnutes* -Check face and extremities (fingers, toes, ears and nose) for numbness or whiteness (frostbite)-Risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods without adequate protection -Dress in layers of warm clothing, with an outer layer that is wind resistant.-Cover all exposed skin: wear a hat, mittens, and a scarf, neck tube or face mask.-Keep active.
WARNING LEVEL** -48 to -54 High risk: exposed skin can freeze in 2 to 5 minutes* -Check face and extremities frequently for numbness or whiteness (frostbite)-Serious risk of hypothermia if outside for long periods -Be careful. Dress very warmly in layers of clothing with an outer layer that is wind-resistant.-Cover all exposed skin: wear a hat, mittens and a scarf, neck tube or face mask.-Be ready to cut short or cancel outdoor activities.-Keep active.
-55 and colder High risk: exposed skin can freeze in less than 2 minutes DANGER!-Outdoor conditions are hazardous -Stay indoors

Last modified on Aug 21, 2012