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Hypothermia



Hypothermia
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.63

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    exertion, motherly, nonalcoholic, rewarming, water-saturated, wind-proof, biological, consciousness, consequently, frostnip, rational, popularity, fatal, thereby, generate, susceptible
     content words:    Provide CPR


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Hypothermia
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Liam wanted to play outside in the winter. His mother said that was fine, but stayed to make sure he was dressed warmly enough. It seems like a loving, motherly task, but there's really a scientific, biological reason for this. His mother doesn't want him to develop hypothermia.
 
2     Hypothermia is a condition of dangerously low body temperature. It is sometimes called low body temperature or cold exposure. Normally, the body temperature of a human being is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. With hypothermia, the body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This may not seem like much of a difference, but for the human body it is. It can cause an irregular heartbeat and lead to heart problems and even death. How can hypothermia occur? It happens in situations when more heat is lost than the human body can generate.
 
3     Logically, then, hypothermia is caused by extended cold exposure. In extended cold and windy weather, the human body may not be able to produce as much heat as the body loses. So, especially with the popularity of outdoor activities, hypothermia can occur outdoors in cold weather without enough protective clothing. It can happen if someone goes under cold water for too long; for example, falling overboard. It can occur when someone is wearing wet clothes in the cold. It can also develop from heavy exertion in cold weather, not drinking enough fluids in cold weather, or not eating enough in cold weather. A baby can even develop hypothermia as a result of sleeping in a cold room. Sometimes hypothermia results in an accidental and unusual way. For example, if it's winter and there's no power to a house, an older person may get very cold and develop accidental hypothermia.

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