A Course for Safe Boating
thermia is also called heat exhaustion. This happens when temperatures
are high and your body can no longer cool itself.
Early symptoms of
thermia (heat exhaustion) include weakness, pale
skin, headache and heavy sweating. If the victim is not treated, his or her
skin will become hot and bright red. The victim stops sweating and then
loses consciousness or suffers from heat stroke. Heat stroke victims will
often talk nonsense or see imaginary things.
thermia by avoiding long, direct exposure to heat and
sun. When possible, spend time in a cooler location and be sure to drink a
lot of water to keep your fluid levels up. Avoid liquids that make you urinate
frequently, such as caffeinated sodas, coffee, tea or alcohol—these drinks
will lower your fluid levels.
You can reverse
thermia several ways: get the victim out of the sun
into a cool place, provide fluids (but not alcohol or caffeine, have the victim
shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water, and urge the victim to lie down
and rest in a cool place.
thermia happens in very low temperatures when your body loses more
heat than it can produce.
Early symptoms of
thermia include feeling cold, shivering, losing
your sense of balance, and feeling tired or ill. In severe cases the victim
may fight, quarrel or appear to be drunk. If the victim is not treated, he
or she will shiver violently, have a high heart rate and will stop thinking
clearly. In advanced stages of hypothermia, victims will stop shivering,
lose consciousness, have blue skin, and be unable to walk or speak. As
this condition gets worse, a victim’s breathing and heart can stop, and the
victim may die.
thermia by preventing heat loss. The best way to do this is to be
properly equipped and clothed. This may include wearing immersion suits,
wetsuits, warm synthetic clothing (not cotton) or waterproof clothing.
Your body temperature can drop quickly if you are in the water. Get as far
out of the water as possible by climbing onto any floating object, such as
the boat’s hull. This will help prevent heat loss from your body.
If you can’t get out of the water, keep your head out of the water. Curl into
a ball or huddle with other people and limit movement of your arms and
legs to further prevent heat loss. These are known as HELP, or Heat Escape
You can easily reverse
thermia in the early stages by exercising
vigorously to generate body heat, and by limiting your exposure to cold.
Get medical help except in mild cases, because you can end up with other
problems if you don’t warm up properly.