Today and tomorrow will be particularly dangerous as many lakes or ponds may appear to still have a sheet of ice on them. It will more than likely be very thin as the ice will be melting. But with the warmer days, many children will be outside (after school) to take advantage of the warm weather. Unfortunately, some may decide to venture onto the local lake or pond.
Below are some tips on what to, and NOT to, do if someone falls through the ice as well as some cold water facts.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF SOMEONE FALLS THROUGH THE ICE?
- Act quickly and call 9-1-1 for help immediately. Make sure properly trained and equipped rescue personnel are alerted to respond.
- DO NOT go out onto the ice. Many times would-be rescuers become victims themselves.
- Reach, Throw, or Row. Extend a branch, pole or ladder to the victim. Throw them a buoyant object such as a life ring or float tied to a rope. If a boat is nearby row out to the victim or push it toward them.
HOW COLD IS COLD WATER?
- Any water that is cooler than normal body temperature (98.6 degrees F) is by definition "cold water"
- Cold water drains away body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air!
- The lower the temperature of the water, the faster the onset of hypothermia.
WHAT IS HYPOTHERMIA?
- Hypothermia is the excessive lowering of body temperature. A drop n core temperature below 95 degrees F., causes shivering, confusion, loss of muscle strength, and if not treated and reversed leads to unconsciousness and death.
- Safety experts estimate that half of all drowning victims die from the fatal effects of hypothermia and cold water, not the fatal effects from water filled lungs.