Dangers Of Cold Weather

POSTED BY: News Department
Thursday, January 3, 2002 - 05:52 PM
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Cold weather can be risky for anyone but especially for older people. Almost everyone is familiar with winter hazards such as broken bones from falls on ice or breathing difficulties triggered by cold air. But the winter chill can also lead to a tempature drop inside the body that can be deadly if not found quickly and treated properly. Hypothermia is a specal problem for older people who often have other illnesses or take medications that can interfere with the body's ability to regulate its tempature. Besides staying out of the cold, there are steps that everyone, especially the elderly, can take to prevent hypothermia. The important things are to protect yourself from the cold by wearing proper clothing even where you are indoors. Watch your alcohol consumption because it increases your propensity for getting hypothermia. A person can be suffering from hypothermia if they are showing certain symptoms. They are: confusion or sleepiness, slowed or slurred speech or shallow breathing, weak pulse, a change in the way the person looks or behaves, excess shivering and poor control over body movements. If you suspect that a person has hypothermia, seek emergency medical attention right away.

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