Heat escape lessening position

The heat escape lessening position ( HELP ) is a way to position oneself to reduce heat loss while immersed in cold water . It is taught in Australia , North America , and Ireland for lifeguard and boating safety training. It is about putting one’s knees together and hugging them close to the chest using one’s arms. Furthermore, groups of people can help to keep this body in shape, provide moral support, and provide a larger target for rescuers. [1]

The HELP is an attempt to reduce heat loss to lessen the effect of hypothermia . Hypothermia is essentially a condition where bodily temperature drops too low to perform normal voluntary or involuntary functions. Cold water causes “hypothermia immersion”, which can cause damage to extremities or the body’s core, including unconsciousness or death. [2]

The HELP reduces exposure of high heat loss areas of the body. Wearing a personal flotation device allows a person to draw their knees to their sides, while still remaining able to breathe.

See also

  • Human positions


  1. Jump up^ Hypothermia Prevention: Survival in Cold Water
  2. Jump up^ Field Management of Accidental Hypothermia During Diving