The Effect of Cold on the Human Body

Professor Halpin’s students have a dedicated history in participating in the WFMY project through clothing donations as well as through an academic perspective.  Each year they research the effects of cold on the human body. Below are papers written by this year’s class.

Amanda Drouin

During the winter months it is crucial that we keep our bodies warm. This is necessary due to the major problems that could arise if not kept warm. Such problems include hypothermia and even death. Heat loss can be a huge threat to large homeotherms or warm-blooded species such as humans with a large surface area to try and keep warm. Our bodies are constantly performing thermoregulation but its not always beneficial especially with extreme cold. Most smaller warm-blooded species are fortunate to have fur or feathers to aid in keeping them warm. In our case, we rely on sweatshirts, jackets, hats and gloves to help maintain body temperature. As stated before, without such things to keep us warm death is a major threat.
The Warmth from the Millyard drive is an excellent way to get the necessary warm items to those who need them most. I think that a common misconception about those who are homeless is that there are mostly men and women who have made poor choices that have landed them a spot on the streets. This is highly untrue. In fact according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 23% of those who are homeless are families that include children. Economic issues are pressing on people everyday and the number of homeless people is constantly on the rise. It is estimated that there are 800,000 to 1.2 million children who are homeless in the US alone meaning that 1 in 50 children have no clothing to stay warm during the winter months. Last years Warmth from the Millyard drive collected more than 2,800 items. Such items probably saved thousands of lives, enabling receivers of the clothing to rest assured they will stay as warm as possible during the hard New England winter.
Fairly clearly you can see how a donation to the Warmth from the Millyard drive is extremely beneficial to those who are less fortunate looking for aid in New Hampshire. Why wouldn’t you help by donating a gently used piece of clothing that could potentially save someone’s life as it helps in maintaining body temperature? Each extra piece of warm clothing you have laying around your house not being used is a potential life that could be saved. Who knows, you could be the one in need someday and it would sure be nice to have a warm coat on your back wouldn’t it?

Michael Tucci

Every fall, the people of New Hampshire start to bring out all the heavy winter gear to prepare for the drastic temperature drops. Many people who have cloths from the last winter will have multiple pieces of winter apparel that they will never wear again. Rather than letting them take up space in the closet you are able to donate them to someone that doesn’t have the needs to stay warm for the unforgiving colds of New England winters.
University of New Hampshire of Manchester has a yearly program called Warmth from the Millyard for people around the state to clear out there closets and also to give a helping hand to the underprivileged people of the state a chance to stay warm in the winter. UNHM is a school that has a large diversity of students from all cities and towns of the state that can work together to help the Manchester community. While having so many people we are able to work as a group to also get friends and family to help with the program. A program that many people have not heard of. Being part of this community it is important to help people prepare for the dangers of winter that some know all too well.
Being homeotherms we must regulate  our core temperatures to keep homeostasis. Our bodies need to remain at 89.6 degrees to stay normal. As the body passes below our normal temperature the body reacts to keep the body warm. The body will start to shiver to create heat, also the hairs on the skin will raise to create another layer to try and trap air. As the body temperature continues to drop it can lead the body to loss of motor skills and reaction time, even death. While staying warm for some people may seem like a thing we must do to get through the winter for some it’s a mean of survival.
The simplest way to stay warm in the winter is to layer up and keep moving. UNHM Warmth from the Millyard is here to help everyone in need to keep warm for the winter. It’s important for UNHM to work as a community to help provide to the people of Manchester.

Matthew Marshall

Every year, several less fortunate people struggle through New England’s harsh winter to keep themselves warm.   The mission of the Warmth of the Millyard project is to get the UNH Manchester students and faculty active in helping out the community of Manchester by conducting a winter clothing drive to help the less fortunate.  It is important for us at UNHM to be a part of the Manchester community and contribute to the Warmth from the Millyard clothing drive because human beings are a warm blooded, or a homoeothermic animal species.
A homoeothermic animal is a species that maintains a constant body temperature regardless of the temperature outside.  This action is known as thermoregulation.  When it is extremely hot outside, our body naturally keeps itself cool by sweating.  When it is cold out, our body maintains it temperature by shivering.  Although our body has the ability to maintain a constant body temperature, it is extremely hard for it to do that without the proper clothing.  For example, many football athletes playing in the hot summer weather suffer from heat exhaustion because their body is having a hard time regulating their temperature because of the excessive padding and clothing they are wearing.  Likewise, during the winter season, unless we have the proper clothing, we are susceptible to becoming sick and even worse, hypothermia.
Another reason why it is important for the students and faculty to contribute to the Warmth from the Millyard winter clothing drive is because it is a good thing to do as person.  It does not take much to find an article of warm clothing that isn’t being used, and donate it to someone who will reap the benefits immediately.  The Warmth from the Millyard winter clothing drive is an amazing program and it makes it easy for the UNHM faculty and staff to become active in the Manchester community.

Dani Schmidt

During the cold winter months it is imperative to have warm clothes. The human body is homoeothermic so it regulates its own internal temperature but within very narrow limits. The normal temperature for an adult is 98.6°F. When that temperature declines even by two or three degrees a person can be severely ill. 95°F is considered hypothermic. During the winter it can be very cold outside, with temperatures reaching only up to the single digits most nights. So therefore if one lives in NH one must own warm clothes to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
Not all people have warm clothes because they cannot afford them. There are stores that sell discounted coats, hats, and mittens but sometimes even that is too expensive. We are lucky to have non-profit organizations like Warmth From The Millyard to help people in need of such items. Warmth From The Millyard collects used warm clothing to donate to families that need them.  Anyone who can donate should because charities really help benefit the community. They help people get back up on their feet and start to provide for themselves. If nobody could receive food from the food bank or warm winter clothes then how would they survive in the winter never mind hold a steady job? It is great to support charities because one day you might be one of those people who are cold and hungry looking for help.

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