Winter is at the peak now, and snow has already started to fall in most places. The body, when exposed to cold for a long time, can cause the temperature to fall below 35.0 °C and make you more prone to Hypothermia.
Under this situation, the rate a body loses heat becomes faster as compared to the heat production rate and can prove to be life-threatening if ignored and not treated on time.
One should prevent continuous exposure to cold weather and spending more time in cold water to avoid themselves from Hypothermia. Fatigue and dehydration cause Hypothermia, and kids and old age people are more sensitive to it.
In such a case, a sound knowledge on how to survive Hypothermia is necessary, especially for the person who goes outside regularly for work.
Below is a depth guide on how to keep yourself and your family safe and survive this winter through Hypothermia.
Know the signs first
Below are likely the first few symptoms to notice in Hypothermia.
- Constant shivering
Other signs and symptoms of Hypothermia are
- Slurring words
- Slow breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Weak pulse
- Fumbling hands
These are some of the most common signs of Hypothermia. So if you find any of such symptoms in yourself or your closed ones, it’s time to act.
How to survive yourself from Hypothermia?
Remember, if you are experiencing Hypothermia personally, you may not be able to help yourself and make any proper judgment. Your body will be indulged in warming and attaining the core temperature, and hence you will not be able to decide anything properly. So if such is the case, dial 911 or call anyone nearby for immediate help.
Four “D” points to survive Hypothermia
Jot down our 4D points in your mind to help you survive Hypothermia this winter.
1. Dress well – Go for clothes that can block the maximum wind. Try layer clothing strategy to save yourself from the cold this winter. We can divide this layering strategy into three-stage –
The Lower layer- Underwear to keep your body dry
The Middle layer- Your jackets to maintain the heat
The Upper layer- Rain Jackets to save you from the wind
Few layers of clothing are more useful than single, as few layers can keep the air trapped. Also, use woolen hats and insulated gloves if needed. It will save your ears and hands from cold. Most of the heat that you lose is from your head only, so it is better to use woolen hats. A hat will trap the heat inside and keep your head dry and warm.
2. Determine symptoms – We mentioned some of the signs and symptoms of hypothermia above for you. Keep yourself updated enough so that you can easily distinguish the symptoms. During hypothermia, one can lose self-awareness ability, and hence, you need to act here promptly.
3. Drink water – Drink ample water and keep yourself away from getting dehydrated. Not doing this can stop your body from doing its regular activities and put your body more vulnerable to hypothermia. Small children and old age people should be taken care of more as they are the ones more prone to dehydration.
4. Don’t Overexert – Avoid any such activity that can cause you to sweat more. The more you will be sweating, the wetter your clothes will be. The sweat, when combined with cold weather, can allow the body heat to lose quickly.
These 4D’s can affectively save you this winter from Hypothermia when followed.
How to survive others from Hypothermia?
If any of your closed one or nearby is showing symptoms of Hypothermia, call 911 immediately. It should be your first step to perform and get medical support.
Take him to a warm place like inside a house or workplace as per the possible situation. If this is not possible, try to cover him with warm clothes to cut the wind, especially the head, neck, and ears.
Warning- Warm the body slowly and gradually and do not use any heating lamp or heater immediately. Doing this can interrupt the functions of the heart and lungs and can worsen the scene more.
Take out wet clothing, if any, and replace it with some warm cloth or even with a blanket or towel.
Try to keep him warm and perform CPR. One needs to perform CPR only if the person is coughing and not able to breathe.
Note- If you are not qualified to perform the CPR, don’t try. Wait for the medical support to arrive and perform CPR.
Once the medical support arrives, they will inspect the severity of Hypothermia in the individual. If it is a mild one, they will perform some activity there itself and recommend to take the patient back home rather than a hospital. However, if the condition is severe, they will take the person to the hospital for treatment.
How to survive from Hypothermia in cold water?
If the temperature of the water is low as compared to your body, you should be worried about it. The below-mentioned tips will guide you on how to survive from Hypothermia in cold water?
- If you are planning for a boat or watercraft ride, use a life jacket. A life jacket allows you to float in water, thereby saving your energy.
- Avoid swimming to save energy from exhausting and increase the survival time.
- Use heat escape lessening position (HELP) to reduce heat loss.
What is the HELP Position?
It is a position that tends to reduce the heat loss from the body in cold water. Depending upon whether you are in trouble alone or a group of people, this position may differ.
When alone- Positioning both the knees together in a way that covers your chest by holding both the hands. Doing this will protect heat loss against your neck and chest.
When with others- Making a circle while hugging each other will lower the chance of heat loss.
Don’t remove your clothes when you are in the water to keep yourself insulated from water.
How to survive infants from Hypothermia?
Infants should be taken much care of as they are the ones more prone to hypothermia. Bright red skin, low energy level, and weak cry are some common symptoms of Hypothermia in infants. Besides, an infant can lose their body heat evenly. Which is why they are not capable enough to shiver and warm the body.
Avoid taking them to cold rooms and outdoors unnecessarily and always keep them covered with the blanket and make them wear a cap.
You can apply the three-layer clothing strategy here with your baby also. Doing this will keep him extra warmth and effectively protect him from extreme cold weather. Also, make sure that you stay close to your baby most of the time and comfort him.
How to survive from Hypothermia while traveling via vehicle?
First of all, inform your nearby and closed ones about your journey, time, schedule, and everything. Do carry a blanket, ropes, gloves, cap, chemical heat packs, matchsticks, first aid kit, food, and water when you go outside in winter. They won’t occupy much of your vehicle’s space and are easy to be carried. Also, make sure that small kids and aged people go out in winter only when it is urgent. Don’t allow them to go out if the temperature is worse.
One should avoid high alcohol consumption as it can affect the coordination abilities in you and damage thermoregulation, which in return can make you more prone to cold and easily attacked by Hypothermia.
Even if you are not the type of person who goes out daily, unexpected cold weather and snowfall can still prove to be very disastrous inside the house. It has been found that fatigue can interrupt your thinking and make you take wrong decisions. So you need to keep yourself warm and calm all the time to survive. Try to bring your body temperature to normal most of the possible time. Be it be with warm clothes or maybe a bonfire, just maintain your temperature.
Note- If you are using a bonfire and burning wood or coal, try to minimize the smoke accumulation in the room. As this smoke can burn your eyes and make you cough. Use Seasoned wood as it throws out less smoke and burns properly. Make way for the smoke to go outside the room easily.
Every season comes with its challenges every time. What one needs is to understand and tackle them effectively. Keep yourself trained and be prepared for all the challenges that you can face this winter. This article contains enough information to train and guide you on how to survive Hypothermia this winter. Just follow these cold survival tips and beat the cold this winter.
Not to mention, don’t forget to enjoy this winter season with some delicious food, with some hot tea or coffee. Plan a winter campfire with your family and loved ones and enjoy it. Act wisely and keep yourself and your closed ones safe this winter.