How can I Prevent Hypothermia?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Hypothermia occurs when the body is exposed to extreme cold. Losing vital body heat can happen gradually without the person being aware of it. The body’s temperature will drop below normal and hypothermia will set in. Children and the elderly are most at risk from hypothermia, but it can happen to anyone.

There are a few additional factors that can contribute to the extent of hypothermia. If a person is under the influence of alcohol or has a heart condition, then he or she is more susceptible. Nicotine and caffeine also dehydrate the body very quickly. Lack of food and exhaustion can also be contributing factors. If clothing becomes wet or if the wind chill is particularly high, hypothermia is also more likely.

There are a number of measures that you can take to prevent hypothermia. Wearing layers of clothing in the cold helps reduce the risk by trapping warm air between the fabrics. It is especially important to keep the hands and feet warm, as heat can easily be lost at these locations. Also, make sure to wear warm headgear when venturing into the cold.

Make sure to avoid tight fitting or constricting clothes and avoid material such as cotton. Outer clothing layers should be, at the least, waterproof. Thick socks are a must for extra warmth and should never be tight.


If you are trapped outside in the cold, try and find shelter immediately. Cold drains the body of heat and makes you more tired. This can happen very quickly, especially in snow or wet weather.

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to keep exhaustion at bay. Fluids, especially water, keep the brain alert and prevent tiredness. Water is also necessary to keep the blood flowing to body parts such as the hands and feet, where heat can escape.

Likewise, eating is a very important step in preventing hypothermia. Foods that are high in carbohydrates are the best types of sustenance to maintain energy levels. Carbohydrates are also easily converted into heat by the body. However, do not eat large quantities, as they can make the body tired.

If your clothing becomes wet and you have extra clothing available, try and change immediately. Wet clothes against the skin contribute to hypothermia. Wearing a balaclava is an extremely good way to keep heat in the body.

Hypothermia claims many lives each year. Weather temperatures can change very quickly, without warning. Hypothermia can happen to anyone in any season. Avoiding extremely cold weather is one of the best ways to avoid hypothermia.


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Post 3

You would huddle together and keep dry clothes on you when on the tree.

Post 1

Okay if you are stuck in cold water because of a flood and you are hanging onto a tree and there are three people with you and you are taking turns going under the water to get props. how would you prevent hypothermia?

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