Cold weather can affect your body in different ways. You can get frostbite, which is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Your body can also lose heat faster than you can produce it. That can cause hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. It can make you sleepy, confused, and clumsy. Because it happens gradually and affects your thinking, you may not realize you need help. That makes it especially dangerous. A body temperature below 95 °F (35 °C) is a medical emergency and can lead to death if not treated promptly.
Anyone who spends much time outdoors in cold weather can get hypothermia. You can also get it from being cold and wet, or under cold water for too long. Babies and old people are especially at risk. Babies can get it from sleeping in a cold room.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
- Cold Stress (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Hypothermia (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Perioperative hypothermia prevention: development of simple principles and practice recommendations using...
- Article: Perinatal asphyxia and hypothermic treatment from the endocrine perspective.
- Article: The effect of combining prewarming with intraoperative phenylephrine infusion on the...
- Hypothermia -- see more articles
- Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors for Older Adults (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish