Hypothermia and Frostbite

Person in snow
By Mason Smith
Hypothermia is when your body loses too much heat and can’t work properly.
Warning Signs of Hypothermia
(Remember - stumbles, mumbles, fumbles and grumbles)
  • Cold feet and hands
  • Puffy or swollen face
  • Pale skin
  • Severe shivering
  • Slurred speech or speaking more slowly than usual
  • Dizziness or trouble staying balanced when walking
  • Confusion or unusual anger
  • Tiredness
  • Slow breathing
  • Slow pulse
  • Blacking out (loss of consciousness)
Treatment of Hypothermia
  • Call 911
  • Move out of the cold and wind
  • Remove any wet clothes
  • Cover the person with dry clothes or a warm blanket
  • Share body heat with another person
  • DON’T use direct heat (like a heating pad or lamp) on someone with hypothermia
  • Drink warm beverages (but NOT caffeine or alcohol)
  • DON’T rub or massage someone with hypothermia
Frostbite is when your skin freezes.
It usually affects fingers, toes, and exposed skin – like your face, nose and ears.
Signs of Frostbite
  • Gray, white or yellow skin
  • Waxy-looking skin
  • Numbness – no feeling in the affected area
Treatment of Frostbite
  • Call 911
  • Warm the area slowly by blowing warm air on it or placing it against a warm part of the body
  • DON’T rub frostbitten skin
Last updated on July 19th, 2010
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© Copyright 2010 California Department of Developmental Services
This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.