Stay safe in the winter weather: VIHA

Vancouver Island Health Authority has some ideas about how to stay warm and dry

Temperatures are expected to remain above normal for the next few weeks, but the Vancouver Island Health Authority offers tips on how to stay safe and comfortable this winter.

Weather can be hard on health and is harder on some, like children, seniors, homeless and people with some medical conditions.

Exposure to cold can result in frostnip, frostbite (freezing flesh), or hypothermia, when a body’s temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius — which can be fatal.

To stay safe this winter experts recommend taking extra care not to slip and fall, be careful with physical exertion since cold stresses the heart, wear layers that are easy to remove if they become damp.

If you find yourself struggling with the cold, avoid tobacco, alcohol and some medications that make you more susceptible.

Drink non-alcoholic beverages like warm water, soup or tea.

In the cold keep an eye on children’s faces and extremities for numbness or pale skin as signs of frostnip and frostbite.

Confusion, slurred speech, shivering and clumsiness are indications of hypothermia.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority advises seniors to be especially cautious when they venture outdoors this winter.

For more information check www.viha.ca.