The following letters were forwarded to the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) this week in response to a recent CBC Radio program about second-hand smoke.
- Letter to Mr. Michael Enright, Host of the Sunday Edition, CBC Radio, on behalf of all Medical Officers of Health in Ontario (PDF, 3 pages)
- Letter to Ms. Esther Enkin, Ombudsman, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, re: Michael Enright’s essay “Exploding the myth that second-hand smoke causes cancer” from the Campaign for Justice on Tobacco Fraud (PDF, 4 pages)
Stop smoking for the month of March for your chance to win:
What do you have to do?
- Choose a buddy who will support you as you go tobacco-free.
- Register by February 28, 2014.
- Quit smoking by March 1, 2014 and remain tobacco-free for the month.
- Remain tobacco-free for the month of March.
Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health.
Visit DriventoQuit.ca to get started!
Flu activity is increasing in Ontario and our local area is no exception. This season’s flu shot is a good match for the circulating H1N1 virus. If you haven’t had your shot yet, it’s not too late to get immunized.
You can get your shot in one of three ways:
- From your doctor
- At a pharmacy (see a list of local pharmacies offering the shot)
- By appointment at a Public Health clinic
There is also a nasal spray vaccine called FluMist.
Canadian winters can be severe. It’s important to learn how to prepare for cold conditions and to avoid the potentially serious health effects of extreme cold exposure.
Who is at risk
Anyone who isn't dressed warmly is at risk, but some are more vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia:
- Infants and young children
- The elderly
- Outdoor workers
- People with chronic medical conditions or underlying infections
- People taking certain medications (including beta blockers)
- Winter sport enthusiasts
- Homeless persons and those lacking shelter, proper clothing, or food
How to prepare for cold weather
- Listen to the weather forecast.
- Dress warmly and wear appropriate clothing.
- Find shelter.
- Stay dry.
- Keep moving.
- Prepare your home by doing regular maintenance.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
Health risks of extreme cold
- Can occur when temperatures drop below zero.
- Can cause permanent damage (including loss of limbs) if not treated immediately.
- Risk increases as the wind chill drops. At a wind chill of -28ᵒC, exposed skin can freeze in 10 minutes.
- Initially starts to appear yellow or white but still feels soft to the touch
- Tingles or burns
- May turn pale, waxy, and hard to the touch, or go numb as frostbite gets more severe
At the first signs of frostbite:
- Protect the exposed skin.
- Get out of the cold.
- Warm the skin gradually using body heat (do not rub).
- Once warm, do not re-expose affected area to the cold.
Seek medical attention if the frostbite is serious (pale, waxy skin that is hard to the touch; affected area is numb).
- Occurs when the core body temperature drops too much to function normally.
- Can lead to death. As the body loses heat, organs begin to shut down.
Signs of hypothermia include:
- Numbness, shivering, confusion, weakness
- Lips, ears, fingers, toes or other extremities turn blue
- Mumbling, stumbling, and/or fumbling
How to treat hypothermia
- Severe cases require immediate medical attention; call 9-1-1.
While waiting for help to arrive:
- Find shelter.
- Keep muscles moving.
- Remove wet clothing and gradually warm the person.
- Use warm blankets/dry clothing or reheat using skin-to-skin contact with another person.
- Drink warm, sweet liquids.
- Don't fight shivering, this is one of the ways your body increases its core temperature.
- If the person is unconscious lay them down. Avoid shaking them or handling them roughly as they may have an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).