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Cold Weather & Ice Safety
Sunday, January 26, 2014
It is a good time to talk to your kids about cold weather safety. Extra care is needed, especially with younger children, to ensure they are prepared for the bitter cold weather in the forecast.
- Ice dangers: Despite the cold temps, there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice in our region. Remind children to stay away from ponds, canals and other bodies of water that may appear to be frozen or have a thin coating of ice.
- If you witness someone falling through the ice, the best way to help them is to immediately call 9-1-1 so rescue personnel can quickly be dispatched. Resist the urge to go out on the ice after them or else you could fall through too. Would-be rescuers frequently become victims when they fall through the ice as well.
- Keep an eye on the location where the victim is so you can direct rescuers to that location.
- While waiting for rescue personnel to arrive on the scene, extend or throw a long object to the victim such as rope, pole, tree limb or even a scarf to help pull them to shore. If using a rope, have the victim tie the rope around them in case they become weakened by the cold and are unable to hold onto the rope. Reassure them that help is on the way and if they are able to self-rescue out of the water take immediate measures to keep them warm to help prevent hypothermia while waiting for rescue personnel to arrive.
- Keep dogs on leashes around frozen bodies of waters. Many dogs are seriously injured or killed after falling through ice. Hypothermia can result when a person is exposed to the cold, and their internal mechanisms cannot replenish the heat that is being lost, and the body's core temperature falls. Characteristic symptoms occur such as shivering and mental confusion during mild hypothermia and range to signs such as low heart rate, respirations and blood pressure during severe hypothermia. Moving the hypothermic patient gently while removing them from the cold and trying to warm them are all in order. If you suspect hypothermia in a patient, contact 911 immediately. As always, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department encourages you to learn CPR if you do not already know. Contact our department at 410-641-8272, to enroll in a class.