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December 26, 2017 06:28 PM

Avoiding Hypothermia With Cold Weather

Danitra Neal has lived in Sioux Falls her entire life, and says when the cold weather strikes, she's always prepared. 

"Just trying to layer up right now, with all the clothes that I can," Neal said. 

Paramedics say there are several different factors to determine how quick hypothermia can set in. 

"Age, sometimes medications that you're on make your body less inclined to manage temperatures appropriately, so you can set in with hypothermia sooner than someone not on those medications, alcohol and caffeine intake," Paramedic Matthew Gruchow said.

Shivering, confusion, memory loss, and exhaustion are just some of the warning signs you need to look out for if someone has hypothermia. 

"Usually they're not going to notice the symptoms in themselves, it's going to be somebody else who notices them. So, a change in their level of consciousness. They'll mumble, they'll get disoriented," Gruchow said. 

When your body temperature becomes too low, your brain feels the affects, making it hard to think clearly. 

At 95 degrees your body is experiencing mild hypothermia and the situation will only get worse from there without medical attention.

Gruchow says avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, and always dress for the conditions.

"Dress for like, you're locked out of your car and you're going to be out there for awhile. Just treat it like you would if you were taking a walk in the cold," Gruchow said. 

What advice would you have for somebody who's not wearing gloves today?
Neal: I'd say you're crazy, and you need to get some gloves!

So bundle up, grab some hot chocolate, and stay warm. 

The CDC also recommends taking a first aid and CPR course to be prepared for cold-weather health problems. 

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