Thin Ice

Safety & Awareness | January 1, 2019

Safe Kids Fox Valley Safety Tips
By Sarah Rhone RN, BSN, PHN, Outagamie County Public Health Division, Safe Kids Fox Valley CoordinatorThin Ice? Thin ice while walking. Thin ice while driving. Thin ice while fishing or recreational riding. It is that time of year where icy conditions can be fun but also dangerous. Safe Kids Fox Valley wants everyone to be safe through the months of Wisconsin’s winter wonderland!

Be safe walking on ice!

  • Do the “Penguin Shuffle.” Slightly point feet out like a penguin.
  • Walk flat footed and bend slightly.
  • Extend arms out to the side to maintain balance.
  • Keep hands out of pockets.
  • Walk S-L-O-W-L-Y and watch where stepping.
  • Shuffle or take short steps for stability.
  • Wear heavy, bulky clothing that would cushion a fall.
  • Avoid falls on knees, wrists, or spines.

Safety Tips for Icy Roads:

  • Remember, no one is immune to losing control of a vehicle in icy road conditions.
  • Reduce speed.
  • The best way to avoid an accident is not drive in icy conditions.
  • Pay attention to the weather.
  • Wear a seatbelt.
  • Go easy on brakes. Applying brakes can cause a slide or loss of control of a vehicle.
  • Don’t stop for accidents on icy roadways. Instead call 911.

Preparation for heading out to the Lake:

  • Whether heading out snowmobiling, ice skating, or fishing on the lake, keep these tips in mind to keep you and your family safe.
  • Always wear a life jacket, except when in a vehicle.
  • Never leave children unsupervised.
  • A thin coating of ice does not mean it is safe. Check ice thickness at regular intervals.
  • Keep in mind ice is never 100% safe.
  • 4” of ice for ice fishing or other activities on foot.
    – 5-7” for ATV/Snowmobile
    – 8-12” for a car
    – 12-15” for medium sized pick-up truck
    – Double the numbers for snow covered ice
  • Avoid channels and rivers
  • Never go alone and take a cell phone in a waterproof bag.
  • Dress warm in layers. Heavy clothes can trap air, providing warmth and floatation.
  • Do not travel in unfamiliar areas.
  • Look for clear ice, without snow and without bubbles.
  • Carry basic safety gear. Ice claws or picks and a lengthy rope.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Tips on what to do if you fall through the ice:

  • Do not remove clothing
  • Go back toward the direction you came. What lies ahead is unknown.
  • Place hands and arms on an unbroken surface. Ice picks would help.
  • Kick your feet and dig ice picks in to work your way up to solid ice.
  • Once on solid ice, roll away from the hole. Do not stand until water has drained from clothing.
  • Get to a warm, dry shelter. Seek medical care if needed.

Safe Kids Fox Valley reminds everyone of “Thin Ice” considerations. Keep you and your family safe this winter by following tips shared for walking, driving, recreation and riding.

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