Parliament Hill Lido issues warning after swimmers suffer hypothermia at outdoor pool | UK News

Outdoor swimmers have been warned of the risk of hypothermia after a series of incidents at a public lido.

Organizers at Parliament Hill Lido in Hampstead Heath, north London, said lifeguards had to deal with a hypothermic swimmer every day for the past week, following a sudden drop in outside temperatures.

The water temperature at the unheated outdoor pool, open 365 days a year, dropped to 8C (46.4F) last week.

NHS experts say hypothermia, which can be fatal if left untreated, occurs when the body’s internal temperature drops below 35C.

Swimmers using the pool have now been warned not to stay in the water too long.

In a social media post, Parliament Hill Lido wrote: “The water temperature has dropped like a stone and is now around 8.

“It’s much colder than a week ago, but a number of swimmers are still trying to stay in the water for as long as they did last week.

“This week lifeguards have dealt with at least one hypothermic swimmer every day, and they are concerned that people are not taking the temperature seriously.

“Please take care of yourself and other swimmers and don’t stay in the water too long.”

Parliament Hill Lido tweeted this message warning users of a drop in temperature at its unheated outdoor swimming pool
Parliament Hill Lido tweeted this message warning users of a drop in temperature at its unheated outdoor swimming pool

According to the NHS, hypothermia is a medical emergency that requires hospital treatment.

Symptoms include chills, slurred speech, and fatigue or confusion. One of the main symptoms is pale, cold and dry skin, as well as blue-colored skin and lips.

The NHS advises anyone who thinks someone is hypothermic and has any of the above symptoms to go to A&E or call 999.

Outdoor swimming experts, meanwhile, say there is no accurate way to preemptively estimate how long a person can safely spend in cold water, as it is different for each individual and can depend on a number of factors including height, body fat percentage and physical fitness.

Outdoor swimmers handbook author Kate Rew told Sky News: “Winter swimming is a pretty brutal physical experience, but many swimmers find it fun – if you like rivers, lakes and the sea , you may experience separation anxiety from not saying hello to outdoor water if you are not swimming from September to the following May.

“It takes courage to enter freezing water, and you will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and a shot of adrenaline if nothing else.”

Outdoor swimming has become an increasingly popular pastime in recent years, with many claiming it benefits health and mental well-being.

Symptoms of hypothermia, according to the NHS

  • Chills
  • Pale, cold and dry skin – their skin and lips may be blue
  • Speech disorders
  • slow breathing
  • Tiredness or confusion

A spokesman for the charity Hampstead Heath, which runs Parliament Hill Lido and which is run by the City of London Corporation, said: “We urge swimmers to follow our guidelines for swimming in cold water, especially when swimming. of the recent drop in temperatures.

“There are risks associated with swimming in cold water, even for regular swimmers in winter.

“We advise people to swim with caution and spend only a short time in the water.

“Parliament Hill Lido is staffed with fully trained lifeguards to help keep swimmers safe.”

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