Stay Safe On Ice This Winter

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Winter is here! If you’re planning to get outside, make plans to be safe. There are things you and your family can do to lower the risk of getting hurt while skating outdoors.

Look First

  • Check with local authorities for information on ice thickness. Thick ice is not always safe. Don’t go on the ice unless you are sure it is safe. Obey signs on or near the ice.
  • Before walking or skating outdoors on ice, check that the ice is smooth and at least 15 cm (6 in.) thick. If you’re taking the entire family, make sure the ice is at least 20 cm (8 inches) thick.
  • Check for hazards like pebbles, rocks, and branches.
  • Check that the ice is in good shape, without any bumps or melting/slushy ice.
  • Only skate on ice that is monitored and maintained.
  • Teach your child to call for help loudly and clearly if in trouble.

To stay safe, don’t:

  • Skate on community wet ponds.
  • Skate where there is ice over running water.
  • Walk on ice on or near moving water.
  • Walk on ice when you are alone (Use the buddy system).
  • Let your child play on or near ice unless a responsible adult is watching.

If the ice cracks:

  • Call 911 for help.
  • Lay down on the ice.
  • Crawl or roll back to land.

If a person is in trouble, push or throw something they can use to get out of the water, or float on, until expert help arrives. If you try to rescue someone from the ice, you can put yourself at risk.