- Being in less cold temperatures with a wind chill
- Wearing wet clothes
- Being in a position where you cannot move
- Being in cold water
- Certain medical conditions
- Babies and young children
- Older adults
- Adults under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- People who are mentally ill
- People who spend long periods of time outdoors
- Shivering—this increases the muscle activity in your body as your body tries to keep warm
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Hallucinations—sensing things that are not real
- Slowed breathing
- Cold, pale skin
|In hypothermia, the heartbeat slows. If left untreated, the heart will stop beating.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Get to a warm, sheltered area.
- Remove any wet clothing.
- Use an electric blanket to warm the core of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin.
- If no electric blanket is available, use skin-to-skin contact under loose blankets or towels.
- Give warm beverages to drink. Do not give alcoholic beverages.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
- Be aware of the weather.
Wear the right clothing:
- Hat, scarf, and mittens
- Several layers of loose-fitting clothing
- Water-resistant coat and shoes
- Wind-resistant outer layer
- Go inside when you are shivering or if you are wet.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated.
Hypothermia Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment http://www.hypothermia.org
National Prevention Information Network http://www.cdcnpin.org
Canadian Red Cross http://www.redcross.ca
Health Canada http://chp-pcs.gc.ca
Accidental hypothermia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Published April 28, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Hypothermia: a cold weather hazard. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hypothermia-cold-weather-hazard. Updated June 16, 2015. Accessed September 23, 2015.
Winter weather FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/faq.asp. Updated November 26, 2013. Accessed September 23, 2015.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2014 -