The winter season is upon us and with it brings sub-zero temperatures.
For some Canadians, their plan on how to deal with the cold dark season is to run from it and head to warmer weather. For the rest of us, we are stuck shoveling the sidewalks, wearing 6 layers of clothing and running from one warm place to the next.
Actually, winter in Canada is not that bad. As your body acclimates to the colder weather you begin to realize that there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Skiing, sledding and hiking can all be enjoyed in below freezing weather.
A favorite for many is ice skating. All you need to enjoy this pleasant activity is a pair of skates and a sheet of frozen water. A pond, lake or slow moving river will do just fine. Just make sure the ice is at least 4-5 inches thick and you will be soon gliding effortlessly across the slippery surface.
Be aware that activities that take place of frozen lakes or rivers can be dangerous. Ice does not freeze evenly. There is always the chance, albeit slight, that just because the ice was 5 inches thick in one location, it might only be 2 inches thick in another. Always be aware that falling through the ice could happen to you.
Do you know what to do if you fell through the ice?
Here are 7 steps to save your life if you fall through the ice
1. Stay Calm
If you fall through the ice you will be tempted to panic. The water is cold and it will take your breath away. However it is essential that you stay calm. Your body can only survive for a short time in freezing water.
2. Drop any heavy items
If you are wearing a backpack, get rid of it. If you leave it on your body it will weigh you down and make your self-rescue much harder than it needs to be.
3. Turn towards the STRONG ICE
Ice is usually stronger towards the shore. As you prepare to lift yourself up out of the water, it would be wise to climb onto the sturdiest part of the hole you created.
4. Use your legs and elbows
Kick with your feet so that your body moves into a horizontal position in the water. Place your elbows on the ice and continue to kick and “swim” your way out.
5. Roll away from the hole
Once the ice is fully supporting your weight, begin to roll away from the hole. Rolling distributes your weight and will make falling though the ice again less likely.
6. Crawl to firm land
Again, staying low will help distribute your weight and moving towards shore will ensure that you are moving towards the thickest ice.
7. Get help and get warm
As soon as you are on firm land, call 911 if possible. Being in the freezing water will have lowered your body temperature and Hypothermia is a killer. It is best to get out of your wet clothes and do whatever it takes to warm up.
Share your tips: What would you do if you fell through the ice?