The snow came early this year. Schools across the country have recently closed because of extreme temperatures. The dangers of hypothermia, frostbite, and death this winter require heightened awareness. Being well informed is the first step toward safety.
Each year, more than 1,300 deaths are reportedly attributable to exposure according to the Centers for Disease Control. Hypothermia and frostbite begin when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius. At that point, the human brain automatically does things to produce heat, such as shivering. The part of one’s brain that is triggered by lowering body temperature is called the hypothalamus.
The normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. One is reportedly in immediate danger if one’s body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius. One’s heart rate begins to slow down. A feeling of disorientation develops. Frostbite begins on exposed skin after just 15 minutes. Blisters on the skin, numb fingers, red cheeks, and blue lips are among the wide array of symptoms indicating frostbite. Amputation may reportedly be necessary if blood stops flowing because exposed skin gets too cold. Those people working jobs outdoors must take extra precautions to stay warm and safe.
Some are more at risk more than others. Those over the age of 65 and under the age of 18 are more susceptible than most because their bodies reportedly lose heat easily. However, those consuming alcoholic beverages are most at risk. Alcohol reportedly opens one’s blood vessels on the skin. This causes one to lose heat in their body at a much faster rate. Judgment is also impaired by consuming alcohol, which may be detrimental when assessing whether or not one has frostbite or hypothermia.
Are you working outside in these cold temperatures? What are you doing to stay warm? At Kooi Law, your safety matters to us. Call us if you need us. (317) 569-1335.