Falling through ice is not something that you would think of often. If this were to occur, you would risk losing the use of your arms and legs. This leads to hypothermia. Hypothermia is extremely threatening to the human body, which is a frightening experience.
How to Identify Thin Ice
There are times when it is easy to identify thin ice, whereas other times, it is slightly more difficult. Generally, blue and clear ice is a stronger and thicker form of ice. When the glaze is milky, it is thinner. This is a sign of having been through repeated cycles of freezing or thawing.
It is also important to take note of whether the ice is covered by snow or not. Snow-covered ice is often fairly thin and should be handled with precaution.
Thin ice is also usually found during the warmer climates, such as in spring or summer. This makes the glaze more fragile. Ice is also dangerous during the start of the season, while it is still forming. If it has not reached its’ point of thickness yet, you could be at risk.
Tips on How to Avoid Falling Through Thin Ice
There are various measures you can apply to ensure that you reduce the chances of falling through thin ice or reduce the negative impacts of it. These factors include:
Keeping up to date with local reports
It is important to keep yourself updated with the latest news. Make sure that you are constantly checking with your local authorities for ice safety advisories. Keeping yourself informed of what is going on is a great way to stay safe.
Being prepared for the situation
Always inform people of your whereabouts. You never know when you are going to find yourself in a difficult situation. Make sure that you always have an emergency survival kit with you. It is also important to wear thick clothing during this time.
Being patient during these harsh weather times
Do not be in a hurry to venture outside. Ice needs to be at least four inches thick for it to be safe to walk. Eight inches is safe for a car, and 12 inches are safe for a heavier vehicle.
Avoiding the risk by staying indoors or sticking to known pathways
Keep yourself out of any dangerous situations. Do not travel at night or during heavy snowfall. During these times, you cannot see clearly. Stay away from areas that you do not know of.
Staying warm and indoors
You need to trap in as much heat as possible if you are stuck in ice. Another way to keep warm is by tucking in your legs to your chest and wrapping your arms around your legs. If you are with a group of people, it is best to conserve body heat by gathering and huddling together.
Knowing how to rescue yourself if placed in the situation
Kick your legs rapidly and try to swim back to where you fell in from. Reach over and try to pull yourself out of the water. This is where ice picks can come in handy.
Staying on flat surfaces
Once you have managed to get out of the water, it is important to lay on your stomach to drain all of your clothing. This is also going to keep your weight distributed over a larger surface area, which is beneficial.
Knowing how to dry out properly if you did fall through the ice
This is one of the most important factors because the cold could lead to hypothermia. Drying out is important so that you can get warm.
There are two different things you could do. Firstly, you could stay put and let yourself dry out and get warm. Secondly, you could try to find shelter. You should only seek refuge if it is less than 30 minutes away. If not, it is best to wait for help.
General Safety Tips on Ice
There are a few tips that you can take note of to stay safe in general. You should take measures to ensure that you can prevent falling through the ice. A few general safety tips are:
- Be cautious around dams, lakes, and other bodies of water. These areas generally do no experience thick ice, which means there is an increased risk of falling through.
- Keep emergency ice picks on hand when traveling. This provides a steadier grip to pull yourself out of the water.
- Do not panic! Panicking is going to reduce the amount of oxygen flowing through your body, which allows the cold to affect you at a quicker pace.
- Get rid of any heavy objects you are holding onto. The weight of these objects is going to weigh you down, thus making it more difficult to get out of the water.
- Leave all items of clothing on. You need to trap in as much air as possible. Clothing is going to keep you warm for as long as possible.
- Try to escape through the same way you fell in. The most solid ice is around this area.
- Use both your hands to get yourself out. Both hands should be positioned over the solid ice.
- Make use of your legs. Try to kick your legs upwards while using your hands to pull on the ice. Use this motion to push yourself up.
- Once you are slightly over the ice, continue to shimmy your way up out of the water.
Falling through thin ice can be extremely hazardous to your health. If you are stuck in this position, your body is going to stop functioning after a period of time. That is why it is critical to be cautious and take preventative measures. This is not a situation you ever want to find yourself in.
Share this information with your friends and family so that they can take the necessary precautions as well. Keep your loved ones updated on how to stay safe in the winter by not falling through the ice. This is a matter that should be taken seriously; therefore, keep yourself informed with all the necessary information.