General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Is Ice Bucketing hazardous to your health?

Asked by elbanditoroso (23938points) August 14th, 2014

Apparently there is a new fad this summer of pouring a bucket of ice over one’s head in order to raise money for various causes. Here’s one of MANY examples: link

This phenomenon is happening all over the country and is raising awareness (and money!).

Is there a health hazard to pouring ice water over one’s head? Could the shock of the cold water confuse the body’s temperature regulation?

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13 Answers

dxs's avatar

“MANY” causes? The only one I’ve seen is for ALS. I’m sure you’ll be fine if you do it. Wouldn’t drinking ice water be even more of a shock to your body?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@elbanditoroso “Is there a health hazard to pouring ice water over one’s head? Could the shock of the cold water confuse the body’s temperature regulation?”

Unlikely. More dangerous would be sudden immersion in that water. Just a bucketful isn’t going to cover your body and it’s going to warm up to your body temperature pretty quick.

Aethelwine's avatar

I don’t know about health hazards, but isn’t this a waste of water? That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I heard about this challenge.

I can’t imagine this being any worse than a polar plunge.

rojo's avatar

People like to jump into icy water for fun and have done so for centuries without any visible negative effects.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@rojo, the dead ones are unable to report the negative effects.

rojo's avatar

They float to the surface eventually

Kardamom's avatar

This Article talks about falling into icy water, but I think it shows that being subjected to icy cold water can be dangerous. I would expect that for some less robust individuals, the icy water could trigger a heart attack. Just the shock, alone, would cause me to have an anxiety attack, which could possibly bring on a heart attack.

The older I get, the more I am unable to tolerate even minor temperature changes, high or low.

Staalesen's avatar

If it was harmfull, I would imagine cold winter rain in a real downpour be atleast as damaging :p

Aethelwine's avatar

From Discovery News

btw- I was without hot water for four days and had to take cold showers. Our Midwest tap water is very cold. I’ve been taking the ice bucket challenge all week and I survived, but it did take my breath away. It wasn’t fun.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I saw a goat drop dead iwhere it stood one day from this. People were trying to help. A little kid had just won it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

One dead from cold shock:


dxs's avatar

^^He died from jumping into a body of water. I don’t think that’s what the Ice Bucket Challenge starters had in mind.

longgone's avatar

^ As stated in the article, though, ice bucketing mimics the effects jumping into a body of water has. Cold water hitting just your face will slow down the heart….cold water hitting just your body will speed it up. Both of those at the same time can lead to arrhythmias, which is what probably happened with the kid.

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