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Preventing hypothermia

You’ll want to look after yourself and everyone in your group if you’re stranded in cold or wet conditions. Preparation should ensure each has adequate clothing however tiredness and insufficient food can combine to cause a lowering of normal body temperature (hypothermia) which must be prevented or treated.

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  • Watch out for signs such as exhaustion, lagging behind, stumbling, slurred speech, a drunk appearance. A person with hypothermia may be cold to touch, with a slow and shallow pulse, and be difficult to reason with.
  • Treat the person immediately by providing shelter and warmth with warm, dry clothes, sleeping bag or shared body warmth. Warm the person from the inside out – avoid excessive external heat such as placing the person near a fire or rubbing the skin. Give warm, sweet tea if the person is conscious.
  • Let the person’s body temperature rise gradually and allow him or her to rest
  • Wind chill is a combination of air temperature and wind speed. Around wind chill -30°C there is a serious danger of frostbite on exposed skin.

Kosciuszko National Park