Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Stay Warm, Stay Safe, Be Prepared, Learn First Aid

Unbelievable, but the extreme temperatures have broken more than four decades of records for frigid weather in GTA. Not only have we received lots of snow, but the Region has been under a cold alert for a total of 30 days already. Such weather conditions give rise to emergencies that can happen anywhere and at any time. These could be natural or medical emergencies. How can we be prepared? This blog speaks to first aid and other medical tactics that can be helpful in such extreme weather.

Whether one is waiting for public transit, shovelling snow, or working outdoors, hypothermia or frost bite is a very real threat. Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature which can affect the heart, nervous system and other organs. It is primarily caused by exposure to cold weather.  I’m sharing a few tips on how to stay safe this winter.

1.       Keep track of weather conditions through updates from radio, television and internet. Remember to dress adequately, and use the right transportation for the weather.

2.       Keep a 3D Survival Kit at home and in your vehicle. Do you know what goes inside this kit? Everything that will help you survive for a few days should you be stranded in the cold or stuck at home. You can learn more about the 3D Survival Kit  at

3.       A first aid kit is important to have whether you are at home, work or on the road. There are different kinds of kits to suit your needs and you can check with your local Mississauga branch of St. John Ambulance to learn more. First aid kits are also available at pharmacies or departmental stores.

4.       Next, I would highly recommend getting First Aid and CPR training.  You never know when you might need to save a loved one’s life. Let’s not forget that when the weather is bad, even the ambulances can take a bit longer than usual to respond. Knowing first aid and CPR can make a huge difference during a medical emergency. If you are an employer, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have a first-aid trained worker available at work at all times when work is in progress.

February is heart month. What could be better than learning the skills to save a heart! Learn CPR. Learn first aid. You can take a course from a variety of organizations like St. John Ambulance,  Red Cross Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Life Saving Society, to name a few. They even offer courses for children. Do you have more tips on medical emergencies or a life-saving story to share? Please comment below.

And the next time you are thinking about what to do on a cold winter day in Mississauga, go ahead and book yourself for a First Aid course!

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