How much heat is lost out of the top of your head?

I bet you’ve heard someone say “You lose 50% of your body heat from the top of your head.” I think my mom and grandma engrained that into me at a young age. During cold weather we always feared death if we went out in the cold without a hat. But that was good advice, even though it wasn’t exactly true.

The human head makes up about 7% of the surface area of the human body. So it would be next to impossible for 50% of the body’s heat to be lost in the head. Point being, any exposed skin is prone to temperature loss, especially in high wind and if the skin (or hair) is wet. If you have a thick head of hair, you’ve got some free insulation up there. But putting on a hat will offer that much more protection against the cold and when your head is warm, you will feel comfortable.

BALDThe most uncomfortable people during cold outbreaks like this are those who are bald and babies. If you’re bald, you obviously don’t have that layer of insulation. And consider a baby’s body. Their heads are disproportionately bigger than the rest of their bodies. If their heads aren’t bundled up, they will lose A LOT of heat. So make sure they are completely secured in a blanket if they have to be outside…even for a minute.

Lastly, our forecast low temperature tonight is some 109 degrees below your body temperature. Keep that body of yours warm by dressing in layers and limiting outside exposure! -Eric

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Posted under cold blast, safety

This post was written by qni_it on December 23, 2013

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