Hypothermia begins when internal body temperature goes below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). When this happens, the heart, nervous system, and other organs begin to shut down.
There are many factors that can affect how cold it is before someone is affected by hypothermia. In the water – temperatures of 79F after prolonged exposure can lead to hypothermia, and temperatures of 50F can lead to death within an hour, and at freezing in as little as 15 minutes. Outside temperatures do not have to be freezing or below either for hypothermia to be a problem – both wind and water (sweat, cold and wet) can allow core body temperatures to drop quickly as well. Age, clothing and overall health also determine at what temperature an individual would or could experience hypothermia.
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