7 Life Saving Tips To Prevent Hypothermia

At AFC Urgent Care in Hartsdale we want you to be able to enjoy your time outdoors, even in the sub zero temps we are seeing in the northeast this year.

Outdoor sports and chores don’t have to stop just because it is cold outside. In fact, many hikers, skaters, runners, skiers and snowshoers look forward to enjoying the winter months, and that should not have to stop.

However, let’s be safe. Before heading out for a day-long excursion in seriously cold weather, heed the following 7 life saving tips to prevent hypothermia:Stay Warm and Dry With Three Layers of Clothing

  • Wear multiple layers of clothing to avoid hypothermia:

• An outer layer made of water-repellent and wind-proof material such as Goretex or nylon
• A middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric such as Qualofil or Pile to absorb sweat and retain insulation
• A synthetic layer such as polypropylene or Capilene closest to your skin to wick away moisture from perspiration
It is just as important to stay dry as it is to stay warm, including keeping persperation away from your skin. Bring extra clothes to change into if they become wet, especially from sweat.

  • Avoid hypothermia by Keeping Extremities Covered

Cover your head, face, and neck with a hat (or hood) and scarf Since mittens are warmer, but gloves allow more use of your fingers, try wearing lightweight gloves under your mittens in case you need to use your hands. Keep feet warm and dry with two pairs of socks (wool or synthetic).

  • Stay Hydrated to Prevent Hypothermia

Dehydration can contribute to hypothermia. Drink plenty of water and drinks with electrolytes if you will be active for a long period of time. Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.

  • Eat for Heat

Your body needs food to fuel your exercise and to generate body heat, so do not head out on an empty stomach. And bring along plenty of snacks, like trail mix, energy bars, fruit, and bread.

  • Don’t Expend A Lot of Energy

Fatigue can contribute to hypothermia, so be aware of your energy level and plan the length of your excursion accordingly. Rest when necessary and cut the outing short if you are uncertain about your stamina.
Bring a Buddy
A friend can help you if you get tired and keep an eye on your face, cheeks, and ears for signs of frostbite. Do periodic checks for cold, wet, and numb areas, especially your face, feet, and hands.

  • Pay Attention to the Thermometer: Choose Your Days Wisely

Temperatures below freezing (32°F or 0 C) and slightly higher temperatures accompanied by wind chill effects are risk factors for hypothermia and frostbite. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your outdoor activities for the rest of the day accordingly. If temps look like they’ll be dipping well below freezing, it might be a movie day instead!