Liam wanted to play outside in the winter. His mother said that was fine, but she made sure he was dressed warmly enough. It seems like a loving, motherly task, but there's really a scientific reason for this. His mother doesn't want him to develop hypothermia.

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.

Hypothermia is caused by extended exposure to cold. In cold and windy weather, the human body may not be able to produce as much heat as the body loses. So, hypothermia can occur outdoors in cold weather especially when people are not wearing enough protective clothing. It can happen if someone goes into cold water for too long; for example, falling overboard. It can occur when someone is wearing wet clothes in the cold. A baby can even develop hypothermia as a result of sleeping in a cold room. An older person might develop hypothermia in a house without power in the winter.

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