Freezing to Death

How long does it take to freeze to death?

(WXYZ) – Now that the temperatures are dipping below freezing, we need to be aware of how much time we spend outdoors – especially at night.

For many of us, we’re used to coping with the cold weather, but we must all be reminded of winter dangers like the possibility of freezing to death.

Our normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees, but the body starts shutting down when it hits 95 degrees. That’s called hypothermia and it’s a real danger.

What temperature will you freeze to death?

Once your body hits 82 degrees, you can become unconscious. Death can happen when your body temperature goes below 70. In dangerous weather conditions, this can take less than an hour.

Death can happen faster if you fall through ice into freezing water below.

Watch first for frostbite

It only takes 5 to 10 minutes in freezing temperatures with a wind chill factor. Monitor your nose, cheek, chin, fingers, and toes for looking colorless and feeling numb. And pay attention to your eyes, they’re also vulnerable to the cold and can get frostbite as well.

If you experience any frostbite signs or feel like you can’t focus, get inside quickly. You can drink a warm beverage to warm up your core temperature.

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  1. Know the temperature doesn’t have to hit zero for a person to experience dangerously low body temperature. And get immediate help if you suspect anyone has hypothermia.  Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, lack of coordination, confusion and very low energy.
  2. If you’re heading outside, make sure your clothes are dry. You’ll lose heat 20 times faster if your clothes or skin are wet.
  3. Be sure to wear layers that absorb and draw away sweat. Put on a hat and scarf as you can lose 20 percent of body heat from your head.
  4. Don’t drink and drive. You can end up in the ditch and not be found for hours. This can lead to frostbite, lost limbs, and hypothermia.

When you’re out driving around, shopping or visiting loved ones, you can experience unexpected car troubles and find yourself in some very dangerous winter conditions.

Drive with a full tank of gas, blankets, water, and snacks

Make sure your phone is charged. That way you encounter car troubles, you can wait a few hours for help.

I also have winter safety tips for when you exercise outdoors.  Learn more here.

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Data pulled from WXYZ

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