Pay Attention to Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.

  • Hypothermia can damage the kidney, liver, and pancreas and can cause death.
  • Symptoms can begin gradually and get worse without the person realizing how serious it is. Early symptoms include shivering, dizziness, trouble speaking and lack of coordination.
  • Signs of moderate to severe hypothermia include sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, and shallow breathing.

Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues.

  • Frostbite most often affects the fingers, toes, ears or parts of the face.
  • Redness and pain may be the first warning signs of frostbite. 
  • Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm or waxy.
  • Severe frostbite can lead to infection and nerve damage.

Call 911 if you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia. 

  • Help keep the person warm while waiting for help. Remove any damp clothing and cover them with warm blankets.