/ by UK HealthCare
Extreme cold causes our bodies to lose heat much faster and can even cause hypothermia, which happens when our body temperature gets below 95 degrees. Hypothermia is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. If untreated, it can lead to pneumonia, cardiac arrest or even death.
Here’s what to look out for:
- The “umbles”: grumbling, mumbling, stumbling or fumbling.
- Shivering, though shivering also means that a person’s heat regulation systems are still working.
- Exhaustion, confusion or memory loss. These symptoms will begin gradually.
- For infants, look for bright red, cold skin and very low energy levels.
What to wear – and do – to stay safe in cold weather:
- Cover your face and mouth with a warm hat, scarf or mask.
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing, with a water-resistant coat.
- Keep your hands and feet warm with mittens or and water-resistant boots.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is a big cause of hypothermia.
- Always monitor your children. Talk to them about the dangers of cold weather and make sure they’re dressed appropriately.
- Check on elderly or sick loved ones – it’s often harder for them to stay warm.
How to treat hypothermia:
- Seek shelter inside immediately. Hypothermia can happen indoors, so pay attention to inside temperatures as well.
- Remove the person’s wet clothing and cover them with dry, warm clothes or blankets.
- Monitor the person’s temperature, and offer warm liquids that don’t contain alcohol or caffeine.
- If a person’s temperature falls below 95 degrees, call 911 and get medical help immediately. If there’s no sign of breathing or a pulse, begin CPR.