WASHINGTON - Maryland health officials reported the first hypothermia-related death of the winter Thursday.
The man died in Frederick County and was at least 65 years old. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of his death during the past week.
State health officials released no other details.
Fifteen hypothermia-related deaths were reported last winter. One death had been reported by this time in December 2011, according to the medical examiner's office.
With winds gusting Thursday and another round of snow headed for the region this weekend, health officials remind Marylanders to bundle up before heading outside.
"A few extra moments to prepare could keep you safe as we head into the coldest months," said Laura Herrera, a deputy secretary with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Frostbite destroys frozen body tissue. Areas most likely to freeze are toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose, the health department says.
Those with poor circulation, the elderly, very young children and anyone who stays outside for prolonged periods of time are at greater risk for these conditions. Staying outside while wet increases the danger, the health department says.
The health department offers these tips to stay warm in cold weather:
- Cover your head to retain body heat.
- Wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. The air between the layers help insulate you from the cold.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf. Also cover your ears and the lower part of your face.
- Wear mittens instead of gloves as the close contact of fingers keeps your hands warmer.
- Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks or two pairs of lightweight socks.
- Wear waterproof boots or study shoes to keep your feet warm and dry.
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