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First blast of cold weather prompts safety tips from Vancouver Coastal Health

With overnight lows well below zero and some snow in the forecast, Vancouver Coastal Health is offering tips to help keep you safe during this cold spell.

The health authority says the cold weather presents unique challenges and health-related risks like slips and falls, to hypothermia and frostbite. As of Thursday, the Sunshine Coast will see a high of –8 on Friday with flurries and an overnight low of –11.

Safety tips to prevent slips and falls include being aware of icy conditions and removing snow and ice from sidewalks, planning routes with cleared pathways, wearing non-slip footwear and using a slower and wider gate.

VCH highlights the importance of staying active to keep yourself in good shape. However, they add that appropriate footwear should be worn to prevent injuries.

Budgeting extra travel time in mind of weather conditions, having winter tires and leaving plenty of space for other road users is also strongly recommended.

With the cold temperatures, certain demographics are at more risk than others, according to VCH. They include the unhoused, people working outdoors, older adults, infants and young children, people with pre-existing health conditions, and people who use substances.

VCH adds you can visit their website for region-specific information for winter care. They add a complete list of warming shelters in the region can be found here.

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