the Program Specialist who coordinates the Georgia Farm Bureau
Georgia Farm Bureau Safety Program
you hear about hypothermia, you usually envision someone stranded
in a terrible winter storm. However, a form of hypothermia
can occur when it's wet, windy and up to 50 or 60 degrees
Fahrenheit. This condition is most common in cold weather,
but infants and the elderly can develop hypothermia at temperatures
greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
develops when a person gets so chilled that their body is
unable to warm up and their natural defenses against cooling
start to fail. The chilling conditions of hypothermia set
in when the body loses heat faster than it retains heat. Farmers
and others who work outside for hours at a time are the most
susceptible to hypothermia.
with water can bring hypothermia on even faster, be-cause
water cools your body temperature 25 to 30 times faster than
air. If you are drenched from rain or perspiring heavily,
you will lose body heat faster than you would under dry conditions.
have to work outside in wet conditions, you should try to
dress appropriately. Proper clothing includes rain gear, gloves,
sturdy work boots, and headgear. About half of your body heat
escapes through your head, so wearing a hat can slow down
common symptoms of hypothermia include: uncontrollable shivering,
cool skin, rigid muscles, weak pulse, a slow reaction time
and slurred speech.
or somebody else is suffering from hypothermia, it is important
to treat it quickly. The following is a short lists of "do's"
and "don't do's".
work outdoors during the winter months, especially on rainy
days, remember the potential for developing hypothermia.
people exercise or keep moving to stay warm if they are
unable to get to a warm place.
should remove wet clothing as soon as possible and replace
with dry blankets or clothing.
use direct heat or hot water to warm the victim.
not massage the skin. You should give the victim warm
beverages, but not any alcohol or cigarettes because they
restrict blood flow.
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NASD Review: 04/2002