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Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing your core body temperature to fall. When the core temperature drops below 78˚ Fahrenheit, the body dies. Hypothermia is often induced by cold, wet conditions, such as rain, snow, sleet, or immersion in water. The outdoor temperature does not have to be below freezing. A person may develop hypothermia when the temperature is around 50˚ Fahrenheit and it’s damp or windy.

Moisture from perspiration, humidity, and dew or rain on bushes and trees also can soak your clothing over time, putting you at risk in cold weather. Wet or damp clothes will draw heat out of your body more rapidly. Wind lowers your body temperature as it evaporates moisture from your body. Resting against cold surfaces also will draw heat from your body.

Prevention of Hypothermia

Hypothermia can be prevented by dressing properly, by avoiding potentially dangerous weather conditions, and by drying out as quickly as possible when you get wet. High-calorie foods, including chocolate or dried fruits such as raisins, provide quick energy that helps your body produce heat.

Wind chill factor chart showing wind speed and air temperature - Frostbite occurs in 15 minutes or less

Wind chill is given in the body of this table.

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