It’s as renowned as eating’s cheating, but the dangers of braving the winter night air without a coat doesn’t attract the same stigma. The temptation for maximum party dress exposure may sway us into leaving our coats at home, but the aged old ‘you’ll catch your death’ warnings from our Mums could ring some frightening home truths.
Appeals from St John’s ambulance couldn’t be needed more as statistics present an ever increasing rise in young women being admitted to hospital for hypothermia, and with flimsy frocks and Jagerbombs in the equation, the danger couldn’t be greater. As alcohol tricks the body into feeling warmer than it really is, the offer of triples and copious shots means we notice the cold a lot later than we should.
Symptoms don’t start and end with feeling cold, a range of symptoms can be used to identify if someone is suffering from hypothermia including; shivering, slurred speech, slow rate of breathing, pale skin, tiredness and confusion.
Whilst many of these are associated with having one too many, if you are in any doubt it’s best to check it out. Those who are suspected of suffering with hypothermia need to seek medical attention immediately and need to be warmed up gradually, so avoid temptations of a hot shower and warm up with a blanket instead.
The sooner symptoms are spotted the better, as hypothermia can result in loss of consciousness and even death if the body temperature drops below 28C (normal body temperature 37.5C – but a temperature of at least 35 is needed for metabolic functions).
Prevention in this case is much easier than the cure, so bite the warm jacket bullet with an investment in the cloakroom this Christmas and it may be your best present to date. Check out Platform’s guide to winter coat trends so you’ll carry on looking fabulous as well as being warm this party season.
Stephanie Jade Sleaford