• rafters paddling through whitewater

    Gauley River

    National Recreation Area West Virginia

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Hypothermia can happen even in the summer, so always be prepared!

Hiking:
You never know what the weather might do, so always be prepared for the possibility of cold and wet weather.

• Always take an extra pair of dry clothes, especially dry socks. If your cloths become wet, replace them.

• Always pack a sweater or jacket, warm hat, and rain gear for any hike.

• Wear clothing that wicks away moisture

• Avoid sweating by dressing in layers

Boating:
No matter how warm it is outside you are likely to get wet, so wear appropriate clothing.

• Wear quick drying clothing (such as nylon).

• Also take a quick drying jacket, one made for rain or water.

• DO NOT wear cotton or jeans. They will hold the water and make you very cold.

• Have a pair of dry clothes where you will be getting out, including dry socks, shoes, and a jacket.

Symptoms of Hypothermia
• Uncontrolled shivering

• Loss of coordination; clumsiness and stumbling

• Slurring of speech

• Confusion or difficulty thinking

• Drowsiness and very low energy

• Shallow breathing, weak pulse, loss of consciousness.

Treatment
• Move person out from the cold, take them into a dry warm place.

• Remove the person's wet clothing.

• Cover the person with dry blankets, or coats.

• If victim is outside place something on the ground underneath them to help warm the body.

• Monitor breathing; if victim has lost consciousness make sure to contact emergency services.

• If the person is conscious have then drink warm beverages, non alcoholic with no caffeine.

• Do not apply direct heat, do not use hot water or a heating pad, the direct heat will damage the skin.

Did You Know?