Hypothermia is a loss of body temperature caused by exposure to cold and aggravated by moisture, wind and exhaustion. If steps are not taken to raise the victim’s body temperature, mental and physical collapse will result.
Watch for these symptoms:
- Uncontrollable fits of shivering * Vague, slow, slurred speech * Memory Lapses
- Immobile, fumbling hands * Frequent stumbling * Drowsiness, exhaustion
To avoid hypothermia, stay dry. Insulate your body against cold, wet weather by wearing wool or fleece pile and waterproof clothing, including a knit cap. Dress warmly before you start shivering. If your clothing doesn’t keep you warm, get out of the cold. If you can’t get out, build a fire and make campwhile you still have energy. Don’t wait until you’re exhausted. To treat hypothermia, shelter the victim and remove all wet clothing. Get the victim into warm, dry clothes; a warm dry sleeping bag and try to feed the victim warm liquids. Keep the victim awake. If he or she becomes sick or unconscious, seek medical attention immediately.