Hypothermia is the loss of body heat. This happens when the body loses more heat than it can produce. Hypothermia is always dangerous and is sometimes fatal.
Hypothermia is usually caused by one of two conditions:
Exposure to body sweat, cold, wet, and wind; or falling into water.
To help prevent hypothermia:
- Keep warm
- Keep hydrated (drink liquids)
- Keep eating (to maintain body warmth)
Most people suffer from hypothermia on days when the outside air temperatures range between 30° and 50° Fahrenheit. It is important that you recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and treat them as soon as possible! Symptoms include:
- Violent shivering
- Difficulty in speaking
- Stiff muscles
Shivering is a sign of being cold. By itself, it is a warning. It is time to take steps to prevent hypothermia. By the time an individual cannot talk normally or carry on a conversation, help must be provided.