Health A to Z
Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35C (95F). Normal body temperature is around 37C (98.6F).
Hypothermia can be serious if not treated quickly. You should call 999 and give first aid if you notice signs of hypothermia.
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Early signs of hypothermia include:
These are symptoms of mild hypothermia, where someone's body temperature is between 32C and 35C.
If their temperature drops to 32C or lower, they'll usually stop shivering completely and may pass out.
This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.
Babies with hypothermia may look healthy, but their skin will feel cold. They may also be limp, unusually quiet and refuse to feed.
You should call 999 and then give first aid if you think someone's got hypothermia.
You need to warm the person up.
Follow these five steps:
If the person can't be moved indoors, find something for them to rest on to protect them from the cold ground, like a towel or a blanket.
If they don't appear to be breathing – and you know how to do it – give them CPR, but you must continue this until professional help arrives in the form of the ambulance service or a medical team.
Some things can make hypothermia worse:
These actions can cause the heart to suddenly stop beating (cardiac arrest).
Hypothermia happens when your body gets too cold and your temperature drops below 35C.
Hypothermia can be caused by:
Some groups of people are more vulnerable to hypothermia.
To stay warm indoors in cold weather:
Check in on an elderly neighbour regularly during cold weather to make sure their home is warm.
The government offers a winter fuel payment for older people to help them pay their heating bills.
See keep warm, keep well in cold weather for more advice.
To stay warm outdoors: