From the monthly archives:

November 2011

Do you know a little boy or girl who would play forever in the snow if allowed?

Unfortunately, children can get hypothermia, and they need to be protected. This is true whether playing in the yard or out camping, hiking, or skiing with their families in winter weather.

To protect them, follow the same guidelines as for adults – headwear, mittens, and loose, layered clothing. Keep feet warm and dry. But the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests these rules, as well:

Dress infants and youngsters in one more layer than you would wear under the same conditions.

Don’t let them play too long. Bring them in frequently to warm up.

If traveling, keep food, blankets, and emergency supplies in the car.

If stranded, cover yourselves and cuddle together. (125)

And don’t forget. Infants and the elderly can get mild hypothermia indoors, in a house that’s not heated, or kept too cold by air conditioning.

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Did you know that surgeons induce hypothermia when they need to slow the body’s metabolism?

But that’s a highly controlled situation. In nature, hypothermia can be deadly. It occurs when an unprotected body is exposed too long to extreme cold, wet, or windy conditions. The body loses heat faster than it can produce it. As body temperature falls, key organs begin to shut down.

If you’re going into nature, protect yourself and your family. Accidents happen. People get lost.

Here are some basic rules:

Wear a hat or head covering.

Cover your hands – mittens are better than gloves.

Avoid over exertion that makes you sweat.

Dress in loose fitting, layered clothing. Outer covering should protect from wind and water; wool next to the body helps contain body heat.

Stay dry. Remove wet clothing as soon as possible.

Remember, good preparation is good prevention.