Cold Water Hazards and Safety
Warm air doesn’t always mean warm water in lakes, streams or oceans. Fifty five degree water may not sound very cold, but it can be deadly. Plunging into cold water of any temperature becomes dangerous if you aren’t prepared for what the sudden exposure can do to your body and brain. Warm air temperatures can create a false sense of security for boaters and beach goers, so if you are planning to be on or near the water, arrive knowing the conditions and how to protect yourself. Cold water drains body heat up to 4 times faster than cold air. When your body hits cold water, “cold shock” can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden gasp and rapid breathing alone creates a greater risk of drowning even for confident swimmers in calm waters.
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