Monday, December 20, 2010


We got another inch of rain over the last 24 hours.  This makes four inches since last Thursday night.  Since it’s still raining I thought I’d just put up a quick reminder about hypothermia.  When do you have to be worried about getting too cold, especially when in the water?  Hypothermia happens when your body loses heat quicker than it produces heat.  This can happen when you are in cold weather.  It can happen when you are in water, especially cold water.  Water doesn’t have to be really cold either. 

There is a formula to use that’s easy to remember.  120 is the magic number.  If the air temperature plus the water temperature added together is at least 120 then you really aren’t at risk for hypothermia. 

If you get wet and you have dry clothes to change into, then change your clothes.  If you don’t have dry clothes then keep the wet clothes on.  They will help you retain the heat you have.  Remember your body temperature is almost 100°.  If you are in water and you can swim to shore or a boat then do so.  If you can’t but you can float on something while you wait for help you are better off doing that.  By floating your clothes will act as a wetsuit to help retain the heat – you will last 50% longer than if you swim (unless swimming will get you to shore).  Swimming will cause water movement between your clothes and body which will cause colder water to come next to you.  Swimming can cause cramps and also pumps warm blood to your extremities where the water will cool it.  You need to keep your core warm.

Typical symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, impaired judgment, clumsiness and loss of dexterity, slurred speech, inward behavior, shivering stops, muscle rigidity, loss of consciousness, death.

The grand kids want to go play in the pond over on the neighbors property that has been created from the rain.  It's 50° outside so the water is about 50°  also.  That equals 100, which means that they shouldn't play for too long but sure, they can go play in the water.  I just have to watch and have them come in before or when they start shivering.  I shouldn't wait for impaired judgement...they are kids, their judgement is usually impaired!

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