In winter, children and pets are particularly at risk when tempted to play on the ice formed on open water, and adults can find themselves at risk in attempting to save them.
Taking a nice walk in cold weather with your family, friends or dogs in tow can be really refreshing, just make sure you know some simple tips on how to stay safe in winter.
Here are some useful tips to keep safe this winter:
Keep back from slippery banks and wear footwear with a good grip.
Stick to well-lit areas - the reduction in daylight in the winter adds to risks around water. Plan your walks in daylight or along well-lit paths.
Ice can be extremely vulnerable even during periods of prolonged cold. Never go onto the ice.
Keep children within reach and teach children not to go onto ice.
Keep dogs on a lead near ice and slippery banks.
If out enjoying a winter walk, walk with friends.
Call 999 – do not enter cold water or ice to rescue.
Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else which can extend your reach.
Fall in or become tired - stay calm, float on your back and call for help. Throw something that floats to somebody that has fallen in.
If you cannot climb out, wait for help and keep as still as possible. Preserve heat by pressing your arms by your side and keep your legs together. Keep your head clear of the water.
Make sure the whole family knows basic water safety and what to do if they find themselves in the water unexpectedly. You can access FREE RLSS UK resources to help.
Resources for Parents
Areas with frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can be beautiful places to visit during the winter months but all too often many people risk their lives by venturing onto frozen water. Don’t be fooled by popular movie scenes, ice can be extremely dangerous and across the UK and Ireland is unlikely to freeze to a suitable depth to safely walk on.
Thank you for readingMake sure you share these safety tips with your friends and family
Get your children talking about winter water safety by downloading our FREE resources.
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