Bitter cold brings risk of hypothermia, frostbite

Bitter cold brings risk of hypothermia, frostbite

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois health officials are alerting people of the risk of hypothermia and frostbite as bone-chilling temperatures grip the state. Infants and the elderly are most at risk.

Hypothermia can cause forgetfulness, drowsiness and slurred speech. It can be fatal, so if a person's temperature drops to 95 degrees or less, call an ambulance or take the person to a hospital.

Cool indoor temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees can trigger hypothermia. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends setting indoor temperatures to 65 degrees and checking on elderly friends and neighbors to make sure they have enough heat.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite on exposed areas of the body. Frostbite leaves patches of white, stiff, numb skin. Warm the affected area gradually and call for medical help.

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