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Ottawa under frostbite advisory as temps plummet

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2020-01-08 CBC/Radio-Canada
Representative picture. Drivers navigate snow covered roads as a snowstorm dropped between 5 to 10 centimetres of snow across the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on December 19, 2019. The storm brought snow squalls and caused numerous vehicle accidents across the city. Representative picture. Drivers navigate snow covered roads as a snowstorm dropped between 5 to 10 centimetres of snow across the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on December 19, 2019. The storm brought snow squalls and caused numerous vehicle accidents across the city.

Ottawa Public Health is warning residents to beware of frostbite as temperatures plummet overnight.

A frostbite advisory is in effect overnight until Thursday morning because Environment Canada forecasts temperatures could fall below –25 with the windchill in Ottawa.

The federal weather agency forecasts a temperatures will plummet to –20 C overnight, and the windchill could make that feel like –29.

"City of Ottawa Paramedics remind everyone that cold that extremely cold weather can lead to serious complications, the worst being amputation. Injuries from frostbite are extremely common yet extremely preventable," an Ottawa Public Health notice on frostbite says.

People should look for the "four p's" of frostbite when the weather gets bitterly cold, the agency says:

  1. Pink: affected areas will be reddish in colour. This is the first sign of frostbite.
  2. Pain: affected areas will become painful.
  3. Patches: white, waxy-feeling patches appear meaning skin is dying.
  4. Pricklies: the affected areas then feel numb.

To prevent frostbite Ottawa Public Health advises people to wear appropriate winter clothing and go inside to warm up before frostbite sets in.

If white or grey patches appear in the skin or if an area becomes numb, people should get medical help right away.

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