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First Aid & Emergencies

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Cold Temperature Exposure - Check Your Symptoms

Call 911 if a person is very confused, stumbles a lot, or faints, and you suspect hypothermia.

Call a doctor if:

  • The person's temperature is still below 96°F after 2 hours of warming.
  • The victim is a child or an older adult. It is a good idea to call even if the symptoms seem mild.
  • The skin is white or blue, and hard, rubbery, and cold. These are signs of severe frostbite. You need careful rewarming and antibiotics to prevent permanent tissue damage and infection.
  • Blisters form. Do not break them. The risk of infection is very high.
  • You have signs of infection. These may include increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness; red streaks leading from the area; pus; and fever.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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