- First degree: ice crystals forming on your skin
- Second degree: your skin begins to feel warm, even though it is not yet defrosted.
- Third degree: your skin turns red, pale, or white.
- Fourth degree: pain lasts for more than a few hours, and you may see dark blue or black areas under the skin. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms arise. Gangrene is a real threat.
Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature is below 96 degrees, and temperatures as low as 60 degrees can cause hypothermia if someone isn’t properly clothed.
Remember these tips to help prevent hypothermia:
- Dress in layers
- Always wrap up well when going outside in the cold.
- Set your thermostat to at least a toasty 70 degrees during cold weather.
- Avoid extensive exposure to breezes and drafts.
- Keep plenty of nutritious food and warm clothes and blankets on hand to help ward off the winter chill. You’d also be wise to wear a warm hat during these months.
- Eat hot foods and drink warm drinks several times during the day.
- Ask a family member of neighbor to check on you often.
- Ask your doctor if any medicine you’re taking increases your risk of hypothermia. Some drugs make it difficult for your body to stay warm. Drugs that may cause a problem include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, chlorpromazine, reserpine, and tricyclic antidepressants.