Extreme Weather Guidelines

Extreme Weather GuidelinesBoy with toys outdoors

Child care centres are strongly urged to develop an extreme weather policy for outdoor play for the safety and well-being of the children in your care. 

About weather alerts

Oxford County Public Health issues heat and cold advisories to warn residents about weather conditions that may impact your health. Environment Canada also issues frequent text bulletins and weather warnings. This is a great resource to keep your eye on for weather alerts in your area.

Heat advisories

Southwestern Public Health issues a heat alert when one of the following occurs: 

The forecast is showing a humidex of 40° Celsius or higher (this index means the humidity and temperature combined give the sensation of a temperature of 40°C);

The humidex is forecast to rise to 36°C or higher, combined with an Environment Canada Smog Alert; or

When there are three consecutive days when the maximum temperature is 32°C or higher

Southwestern Public Health issues heat advisories through this website, and our Facebook  and Twitter pages. 

Public Health reminds people that the combination of high heat and high humidity can be dangerous. Anyone who experiences physical distress because of extreme temperatures should seek medical attention immediately either by calling 911 or going to the nearest Emergency Department. 

Heat advisory guidelines for child care centres

  • Establish both a policy and plan to deal with extreme temperatures.
  • Be aware of signs and symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Follow first aid procedures promptly.
  • Be a role model. Staff should exhibit and exemplify appropriate sun safety behaviour for children to see.
  • During extreme temperature conditions, stay indoors and if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. Ensure indoor temperatures are comfortable. Offer regularly scheduled rest periods.
  • Limit time in the sun when UV Index (ultraviolet ray strength) is most intense, between 11am - 4pm.
  • Sunscreens/insect repellent are not recommended for infants under 6 months of age. Keep babies under 1 year of age out of direct sunlight with canopied strollers or other shade covers.
  • Ensure all children wear a wide-brimmed hat (or with back flap), UV protective sunglasses, light and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Apply Sunscreen with SPF 30 (or higher) 20-30 minutes before going outside to ensure absorption. Reapply every 2-3 hours.
  • When using DEET insect repellent, apply 20-30 minutes after sunscreen has been applied.
  • Check regularly on infants and young children. Be sure children are well-hydrated (plain water is the liquid of choice; diluted fruit juice is acceptable).
  • NEVER leave children or pets in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Monitor children in wheelchairs with regards to the equipment metal, vinyl, and heat.
  • Check the surface heat of metal slides, monkey bars, etc. in playground areas.

Southwestern Public Health recommends that childcare providers recognize the signs of heat-related illness, and follow first aid treatments accordingly

Cold weather advisories

A cold weather alert is issued when current or anticipated weather conditions are at or below -15 degrees Celsius or -20 with a wind chill, or when there are extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm. 

Cold advisory guidelines for child care centres

Coming soon