Bundle Up, It's Gonna Get Cold!

By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter
By: Jessa Goddard, Medical Reporter

Knoxville (WVLT) - Hypothermia can occur when temperatures are in the 40's. Imagine how quickly it could happen with temperatures in the teens.

Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard explains how to dress for success in the extreme cold.

We're talking layers and lots of them.

That's especially true for the very young and very old, who are at particular risk for hypothermia.

Clothing creates air space that absorbs body heat.

During extreme cold, you should wear several thinner garments instead of one heavier one, that will help trap air next to the body, improving insulation.

These insulating layers will help you trap air and maintain body heat, they include things like long underwear, a turtleneck or sweater.

An extra pair of socks, a hat and scarf will also help you conserve body heat.

A final protective layer, preferably a coat, will repel snow and block wind and will serve as an additional safeguard for children who will likely wait several minutes outside at the bus stop Friday morning.

"Especially, the very young children are not real quick to raise their hand and complain about hypothermia, and you really need to look at the temperature, look at your children -- really encourage them to bundle up, maybe drive them to the bus stop," says UT Emergency Medical Director Dr. Kip Wenger.

Many new synthetic fabrics are machine washable and come in varying thicknesses and weights.

Some are only a fraction of an inch thick, yet are as effective as wool.

And don't forget the elderly, they can even get hypothermia indoors if they're not dressed warmly enough. So be sure to check on older relatives and neighbors.


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