As cold and freezing weather conditions continues across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information on how to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
According to the CDC, Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures which causes body temperature to drop. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.
While hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
Who is at risk for hypothermia?
What to do:
Hypothermia is a medical emergency. If you notice any of the above signs, take the person's temperature. If it is below 95 F, get medical attention immediately.
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation (removing the affected body part).
Who is at risk for frostbite:
Warning signs of frostbite:
What to do:
A person who has frostbite may not know they have it until someone else points it out because the frozen parts of their body are numb. Frostbite should be checked by a health care provider.