Hypothermia symptoms include slurred speech – how to reduce risk in cold weather


The UK is currently experiencing cold conditions, with temperatures expected to drop further. With this comes a whole host of health risks. Hypothermia is one such risk that can even affect people while inside.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body temperature drops below 35C (normal body temperature is 37C).

While you are more at risk of this when outside in cold weather, some are still vulnerable when in their homes – if they are not adequately warm.

Gary Ellis, director at health and safety specialists CE Safety, spoke with Express.co.uk to explain more.

He said: “It’s not well known that hypothermia can occur in the home, most people associate it with being outside or only in extreme temperatures.

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“In fact, hypothermia can occur if the body temperature drops below 35C in just 10 minutes wherever you are if the temperature is cold enough.

“It’s vital to know the severity of hypothermia, how to spot it and what to do if someone is showing symptoms.”


Adults with hypothermia could experience slurred speech, according to Mr Ellis.

Other signs among adults include:

  • Pale, dry and cold skin
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness
  • Slow breathing.


“For babies, wrap them in a swaddling blanket, or if they don’t like these choose a baby-safe sleeping bag or a footed cotton sleepsuit.

“A lot of heat is lost through the head and hands, so ensure these are covered with a baby cap or mittens.

“Make sure your babies and children are also wearing socks to avoid heat loss through the feet.”

The NHS says you can get hypothermia if you:

  • Do not wear enough clothes in cold weather
  • Stay out in the cold too long
  • Fall into cold water
  • Have wet clothes and get cold
  • Live in a cold house – older people living alone are particularly at risk.



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