January 30, 2014

Cold weather guidelines for students

As the temperature drops tonight and into tomorrow, please ensure that you follow the cold weather guidelines recommended by Peel Public Health. As well, please visit peelschools.org tomorrow morning for updates on possible bus or school cancellations. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Updates will be posted by 6:30 a.m.

Cold Weather Guidelines

  1. Reduce amount of time children (grade 8 and under) spend outdoors when the temperature is –20 degrees Celsius or colder, with or without the wind chill. Keep children indoors when the temperature is -25 degrees Celsius or colder, with or without wind chill. Some medical conditions may increase sensitivity to cold. Parents should consult their physician (Source: Environment Canada).
  2. Allow indoor breaks if children say they are feeling cold or during extreme temperatures.
  3. Ensure children are dressed warmly, covering exposed skin: insulated boots, winter weight coats, mittens, hats, neck warmers.
  4. Change wet clothing or footwear immediately.
  5. Although these conditions are unlikely to occur during the school day, ensure that all staff are able to recognize and treat symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Given plenty of warm fluids to prevent dehydration.
  6. When children are outside, be watchful for shivering or signs of numbness in faces, ears, hands or feet.
  7. Educate children in dealing with cold weather: drinking plenty of fluids, dressing warmly, and recognizing signs of cold injury.

Treatment of Cold Injuries

Treat mild symptoms of cold injury, such as shivering or numbness in face, hands, feet or
ears, by moving the child out of the cold, giving warm drinks and blowing warm breath on the affected area or holding it between two hands. DO NOT rub area or apply dry heat (e.g. heating pad).

In the case of frostbite, the skin may look whitish or greyish yellow.

  • Get medical help, frostbite can be serious. If possible, move the child to a warm area.
  • Warm the affected area slowly using body heat. Blow warm breath on the area. DO NOT rub area or apply dry heat (e.g. heating pad).

For severe symptoms of hypothermia – such as fatigue, confusion or slurring of speech – call 911, this is an emergency.

  • While waiting for help, move the child indoors and remove wet clothing. Cover the child with blankets or dry clothing. Body heat can help warm the child's temperature slowly. DO NOT use hot water bottles or electric blankets. DO NOT rub area or apply dry heat (e.g. heating pad).
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