Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops below 35C degrees. The most important thing to remember is to try to stop them from losing any further body heat.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Handle the person carefully and gently.
- If possible, move them indoors or somewhere warm.
- Remove wet clothing and dry the person’s body.
- Starting with the head and torso, wrap them in blankets, towels, coats or whatever is available.
- If appropriate, hug them to use your body heat to warm them up.
- Give the person a warm drink or high-energy foods to warm them up. Make sure they are able to swallow.
- Keep them warm and dry until their body temperature returns to normal.
Things you should NOT do:
- Do not massage their limbs or body.
- Do not put them into a hot bath.
- Do not encourage them to drink alcohol.
- Do not try warming them with heat pads or lamps.
In cases of severe hypothermia you should call 999 immediately. Watch out for these signs:
- They’re distressed or confused
- Their breathing is slow and shallow
- Their skin feels cold
- They’re unconscious after having been exposed to the cold