Does this mean we stop playing paintball? No. Playing in the snow is a blast. Even more so now than back in the day. Why? Even though paint fill becomes thicker and the shell harder they don't freeze solid anymore. They even make specialty paint for such a reason, such as Draxxus Arctic Inferno or Tomahawk Winter Paintballs,
With winter play come some additional concerns for safety. Not only do you need to worry about the usual stuff (tripping, holes, rocks) and dehydration there is the hypothermia to consider as well.
Hypothermia comes in three grade: Mild, moderate and severe.
Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit(37 Celsius). Mild hypothermia sets in when body temperature drops below 95 degrees (35C). Moderate hypothermia is an internal body temperature of 93 degrees (33.89C). Severe hypothermia takes place if body core temperature drops below 93 degrees.
When hypothermia begins you'll feel cold and start to shiver. The more active you become the less you shiver. As hypothermia continues you'll start to feel stiff, tired and weak. You may notice your skin getting numb and it might start to look waxy.
With mild hypothermia your entire body shivers uncontrollably, joints will become stiff and uncomfortable when you move. You're coordination will become impaired. A lot of people will refuse to accept they are suffering from hypothermia, unfortunately this is why it can kill.
As your body temp keeps dropping the shivering will actually become less intense. Normal activities start to feel uncomfortable, your coordination gets worse and balance becomes an issue. You may even begin to slur your speech, similar to being drunk. With your ability to make decisions becoming impaired, feelings of apathy and confusion, shallow breath and an urge to sleep you've moved into moderate Hypothermia.
Severe hypothermia is next. Unless you get medical attention your chances of recovery are slim. Your pupils will dilate, skin turns blue, unconsciousness will gradually take over and your breathing is so shallow you appear dead.
Diabetics need to be extra careful as they may not notice numbness in arms, legs and feet.
Never attempt to bring a hypothermia victim’s body back to normal temperature by placing him in hot water, giving him alcohol or wrapping him in an electric or hot blanket. If his body temperature rises too fast, it could cause cardiac arrest.
If you think someone is suffering from hypothermia, move him inside out of the elements. Remove wet or cold clothing and replace with clothes that are warm and dry. The victim should avoid all physical activity and lie in a prone position until medical help arrives.
We also need to be concerned with frostbite as well.
From the CDC website
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation.
What are the warning signs of frostbite?
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
* a white or grayish-yellow skin area
* skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
Note: A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
What should I do if I see someone with warning signs of frostbite?
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described previously. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
If (1) there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia and (2) immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:
* Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
* Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes this increases the damage.
* Immerse the affected area in warm not hot water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
* Or, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.
* Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
* Don't use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.
Note: These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a health care provider. It is a good idea to take a first aid and emergency resuscitation (CPR) course to prepare for cold-weather health problems. Knowing what to do is an important part of protecting your health and the health of others.
**edited for spelling**
This post has been edited by Puzuma: 18 December 2006 - 09:19 AM