Stay Safe in Cold Weather!
Learn why you need to stay warm when it's cold.
» Learn why you need to stay warm
What do some older adults say about hypothermia?
What are the first signs of hypothermia?
Answers to your questions
Summary—What you can do about hypothermia
For information on help in your area
National Institute on Aging > Health > Publications
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Stay safe in cold weather!

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Learn why you need to stay warm

If you are like most older people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia (hi-po-ther-mee-uh).

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low.

What is a low body temperature? For an older person, a body temperature colder than 95 degrees can cause many health problems such as heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia. Read this booklet to learn how to protect yourself.

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Page last updated Jan 31, 2008