5 Winter Weather Dangers for the Homeless

January 5, 2018

Harsh winter conditions, like what we have been experiencing for days and even weeks in Toronto, exposes anyone and everyone to weather-related health risks. The situation is made worse for those who are homeless or socially isolated.

 

Here are five weather-related dangers:

 

1. Frostbite: Untreated, severe frostbite can lead to permanent nerve damage, blisters and even infection and loss of limbs.

 

 

2. Temperature-related Illnesses: Cold temperatures lower immunity and thicken blood increasing the risk of everything from infection to heart attack.

 

3. Hypothermia: Hypothermia occurs when the body's core temperature drops below 37 degrees Celsius. The situation grows worse when shivering stops and the person loses consciousness or cardiac arrest occurs.

 

4. Loneliness: Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones.

 

5. Depression: Weather affects our mental state. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a well-documented form of depression that can strike even healthy people.

 

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