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Hypothermia Risks Increases with Age

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Most of us are familiar with the song that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1949 – Baby, It’s Cold Outside.  The duet was originally written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and was sung by Frank and his wife, Lynn Garland, at a housewarming party.  Frank sold the song bout the cold, and the rest is history!

 

I wonder if the temperature in New York City in 1944 was as brutal as our frigid and sub -zero wind chills of late.  Weather and travel advisories warn us about the dangers of frigid temperatures and the risks of hypothermia due to exposure.  But, they fail to warn us of the risks of developing hypothermia within our own homes.  Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening.

Helpful Tips

Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging for keeping warm while you’re inside: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cold-weather-safety-older-adults:

  • Set your heat at 68°F or higher. To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using. Close the vents and shut the doors in these rooms, and keep the basement door closed. Place a rolled towel in front of all doors to keep out drafts.
  • Make sure your house isn’t losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed. If you have gaps around the windows, try using weather stripping or caulk to keep the cold air out.
  • Dress warmly on cold days even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • When you go to sleep, wear long underwear under your pajamas, and use extra covers. Wear a cap or hat.
  • Make sure you eat enough food to keep up your weight. If you don’t eat well, you might have less fat under your skin. Body fat helps you to stay warm.
  • Drink alcohol moderately, if at all. Alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.
  • Ask family or friends to check on you during cold weather. If a power outage leaves you without heat, try to stay with a relative or friend.

You may be tempted to warm your room with a space heater. But, some space heaters are fire hazards, and others can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has information on the use of space heaters. Read the following for more information: Reducing Fire Hazards for Portable Electric Heaters and Seven Highly Effective Portable Heater Safety Habits.

 

 

Here are the lyrics to Baby, It’s Cold Outside

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

 

I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)

I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)

This evening has been (been hoping that you’d drop in)

So very nice (i’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry (beautiful what’s your hurry?)

My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry (beautiful please don’t hurry)

But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think (baby, it’s bad out there)

Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)

To break this spell (i’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)

At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)

I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)

But baby, it’s cold outside

I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)

The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)

Your welcome has been(how lucky that you dropped in)

So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)

My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)

My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)

My maiden aunts mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)

But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)

I’ve gotta get home(but baby, you’d freeze out there)

Say lend me a coat(it’s up to your knees out there)

You’ve really been grand (i thrill when you touch my hand)

But don’t you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)

At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pnuemonia and died)

I really can’t stay (get over that old out)

Baby, it’s cold

Baby, it’s cold outside

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