Fall will be here before we know it, and, like the rest of our surroundings, the lake water here at Hidden Cove will soon be cooling off.
While some parents may think “If they get cold, they will get out,” and decide to let their children dive in, the risks of swimming in water that is too cold should be considered.
Hypothermia is the most obvious danger, which describes the condition of an extremely low body temperature. The body is losing heat faster that it can re-warm itself. When a person’s body temperature falls below 95F, hypothermia is considered to have set in. At that point, it is difficult for vital organs, like the heart, and other systems to work properly. Eventually, this could even lead to death. If you think this is happening, the affected body should be warmed up, bringing it back to a normal temperature.
Here are some guidelines when it comes to understanding more about the risks associated with cool water.
72F & ABOVE
While some people may still find this slightly cool, this water is considered enjoyable to most.
61F – 71F
This range would be considered chilly by most. Those that tend to be more tolerant would feel refreshed after a dip.
55F – 60F
This would feel uncomfortable even to the most hardy swimmers.
46F – 54F
This water would feel very cold. After swimming for a few minutes, you risk hypothermia.
45F & UNDER
This water is dangerous. Do not swim in it, and do not let your children swim in it. Obviously, the colder the water is, the danger increases.