DNR wants you to talk about ice safety with your kids this holiday season

frozen lake
frozen lake(kvly)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:41 AM CST
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M.N. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking you to talk to your kids about ice safety this holiday season and avoid tragedy.

They say even though the pre-Thanksgiving cold snap started to freeze ponds and lakes in our area, it doesn’t mean they’re safe to walk on and the water is dangerously cold.

The DNR reminds everyone to be extremely careful around the water and talk with them about the risks of cold water and ice.

They say while ice is never 100% safe, the early stages of freezing are particularly dangerous.

Falling through the ice or into open water at this time of year can turn tragic fast, and causes serious injuries and death every year.

“Kids, and people who haven’t experienced winter in Minnesota, may not have enough knowledge to mitigate the risks associated with cold water and early ice,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, DNR Enforcement Division director. “Talk to your kids, talk to your neighbors—we all have a role to play in keeping people safe as the winter season gets underway.”

DNR says if you want to get out and enjoy the ice, wait until there’s at least four inches of it before walking out.

Other tips include:

  • Wearing a foam life jacket or flotation suit.
  • Not going out alone—and letting someone know about trip plans and expected return time.
  • Carrying ice picks, rope, an ice chisel and tape measure.
  • Checking ice thickness at regular intervals; conditions can change quickly.
  • Bringing a cell phone or personal locator beacon.
  • Inquiring about conditions and known hazards with local experts before heading out.