Galveston beachgoers warned about hypothermia

As thousands hit the beach in Galveston, police warn beachgoers about staying in the water too long. A 10 year old girl was treated for hypothermia just days ago. People are encouraged to wear wetsuits and take quick dips.

As the sun peaked through the fog at Stewart Beach, Katerina Herzberg and her friends braced themselves.

"It's a little bit icy but it feels nice. We're from Iowa so we'll take anything," Herzberg said.

She's playing it safe.

"We made it about 15-20 minutes a little bit at a time. We kinda made our way out there...dunked our head once and ran back in," Herzberg said.

Beach goers are reminded that hypothermia is a real concern especially when it's warm outside but the water temperature is much cooler. Beach patrol says early signs are shivering and your lips turning blue, but it can escalate.

"When you get to severe levels of hypothermia you're looking at reduced levels of consciousness, go into shock and people lose fingers and that kind of stuff...nothing we usually see in the tropics but any prolonged time in the cold can potentially be dangerous," Chief Peter Davis said.

Here are thumb: stay in the water for no more than 15 minutes at a time, pay attention to your body and keep a close watch on children.

"If they're blue around the mouth, see if they're shivering and if they're not let them go back in. If not, keep them on shore for a little bit and do the same for yourself," Davis said.

People are also encouraged not to drink too much since that can throw off your perception of how cold the water is.