Senior Page 1-16-11

To keep your body insulated when outdoors, wear a hat and gloves and dress in layers. Come inside frequently to get warmed up. Use weather condition and forecast information for guidance on how to dress and how long to stay outside.

One way to reduce the risk of hypothermia indoors is to wear adequate clothing. Dress in layers and wear socks. Consider using a lap robe when sitting for long periods of time, and be sure to have plenty of blankets on your bed at night.

Another way to reduce the risk of indoor hypothermia is to make sure our home is well insulated and your furnace is working efficiently. Even curtains and draperies can be a good source of energy conservation. Open them during the day when the sun is shining and sit in the rooms that are warmed by the sun, and then close the curtains at night so they can act as an insulator around the window.

Among the less obvious risk factors for hypothermia are health issues and medication. Many illnesses and conditions can interfere with your body's ability to regulate heat. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can make you more vulnerable to hypothermia and how you should compensate for it.

Some common symptoms of hypothermia are uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, confusion and disorientation, poor coordination and drowsiness. These symptoms can develop slowly, making hypothermia hard to recognize.

If you live alone, it is important to keep in touch with others and have them check on you this winter to be sure you are all right. Taking precautions against hypothermia will help keep you safe and warm through the winter .

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