Hypothermia isn’t just feeling cold. Hypothermia happens when the body’s temperature drops below 35o Celsius (95o Fahrenheit) because the body loses more heat than it can keep.
What causes hypothermia?
- Exposure to cold, wet and wind chill
- Not dressing warmly enough
- Exertion in cold weather
- Fatigue or dehydration
- Pre-existing health conditions and medications such as diabetes, heart or circulation problems
What are the signs of hypothermia?
- Slowed breathing
- Loss of coordination
- Impaired consciousness and confusion
- Prolonged exposure can lead to heart attack, coma and even death
How can you avoid hypothermia?
- Stay Warm
Dress in wool and synthetic layers that help trap heat. Wear a hat. Avoid wearing cotton since it pulls sweat away from the body.
- Stay Dry
If you get wet, change into dry clothing. Bring extra clothing.
- Stay Sheltered
Avoid exposure to wind chill and extreme temperatures. Stay inside your car if it breaks down.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids and eat regularly.
- Stay Healthy
Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine contribute to greater dehydration and increase the risk of heat loss and frostbite.