Most people are surprised at what our bodies can do in different types of harsh environments. Naturally, the human body is designed to adapt to varying types of environments and situations. Each part of our body can withstand the elements.
For instance, our skin can help retain moisture and temperature. That can be especially useful if we are in environments with extremely high and low temperatures. Our muscular system causes shivers in the body in shallow temperatures as a means of producing heat.
However, that doesn’t mean that we are entirely impervious to the influence of nature. Although our body can achieve many incredible feats, it’s still vulnerable to different environmental factors in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to extremes in the temperature spectrum.
The United States is vast, and there are different weather conditions. Since a good part of the country experiences cold weather conditions, hypothermia is a prevalent issue for many decades. In fact, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would say that hypothermia is responsible for many deaths of elderly individuals in the past few decades.
So how do you effectively keep yourself warm when you’re out in the cold? What are some early symptoms of hypothermia that you should look out for? Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Hypothermia?
But before discussing the preventive measures, let’s know some causes of hypothermia. Naturally, cold weather conditions and staying too long in an area with low temperatures can cause hypothermia. However, there are more factors in this situation.
Heat loss is another essential factor that many individuals do not factor. This usually starts from the skin and through exhaling out heat. There are other vital factors, such as wind and the overall moisture in the area. A harsh amount of wind and moisture can cause rapid heat loss through the skin.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to the early onset of hypothermia is when the body’s temperature starts falling right below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. When the body fails to produce heat, this can eventually malfunction organs, resulting in cardiac arrest and other critical organ seizing activity.
Fortunately, hypothermia is preventable. With the proper equipment and knowledge, individuals can continue their activities while staying safe from heat loss and shallow temperatures.
Investing in Proper Clothing and Insulation
One of the most important ways of preventing hypothermia is by preparing the proper clothing and insulation. Typically, most individuals wear layers of clothes that can retain temperature. Although this is an excellent way of keeping your temperature stable and preventing heat loss, this can also restrict movement.
Putting on layers of clothes is also impractical for many athletes that play winter sports. Fortunately, many companies are well aware of this situation. Suppose you’re looking for an outfit that can give you well-rounded protection from harsh weather conditions while giving you a good range of movement. In that case, you might want to consider getting a Bogner jacket, which is an excellent way of giving you unparalleled protection.
Planning Shelter Properly
Another important preventive measure that can save lives and keep everyone comfortable is ensuring that the building you’re staying in can effectively retain heat and minimize heat loss.
In most cases, homeowners invest in better roofing since this is the first line of defense against cold weather conditions. Sturdy roofing, coupled with a thick insulation layer, is a great way of ensuring that heat is not dissipated.
Homeowners should ensure that the properties’ entryways are sealed correctly so that heat won’t leave. Curtains are a great way of ensuring that heat does not escape through windows.
Preparing the Right Emergency Equipment
Last but not least, an essential part of preventing hypothermia is to have the proper emergency equipment. This is especially useful for many mountaineers and hikers that plan on camping and going to areas with little to no human contact and extremely low temperatures.
For emergency equipment, ensure that there is heat-producing equipment. External heating devices and thermometers are a great way of keeping track of the temperature. There is also plenty of self-heating food packaging that can serve as a good source of calories and heat.
Of course, it’s also essential to have communication devices and phones that can still operate in areas with little to no signal. Not only can this help in emergencies, but this can cut down on time and energy needed in transporting an individual that is immobilized with hypothermia.
Hypothermia should be taken seriously, and individuals need to be alert to the early symptoms. Even though you might feel uncomfortable when you’re out in the cold, you shouldn’t ignore the early stages of hypothermia. The first few symptoms occur when the body’s temperature reaches below 35 degrees centigrade.
If someone within the vicinity exhibits severe symptoms, you need to contact emergency medical services as soon as possible. If the early signs of hypothermia are ignored, this can lead to organs malfunctioning. That can be fatal in certain circumstances. That said, the best way of addressing hypothermia is to be prepared in any given situation. Preventive measures are better than dealing with hypothermia.