When your body temperature reaches 95 degrees, you are considered hypothermic. Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. When the temperature of your brain reaches 95 degrees, you will start to experience slowed speech, apathy and lethargy, among other serious symptoms.
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To prevent hypothermia, remember the simple acronym COLD: cover, overexertion, layers, dry.
1. Cover: Wear a hat or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, face and neck. Cover your hands with mittens instead of gloves. Mittens are more effective than gloves because mittens keep your fingers in closer contact.
2. Overexertion: Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
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3. Layers: Wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing made of tightly woven, water-repellent material is best for wind protection. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers hold body heat better than cotton does.
4. Dry: Stay as dry as possible. Get out of wet clothing as soon as possible. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet dry, as it’s easy for snow to get into mittens and boots.
Source: Mayo Clinic
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This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.