Being Safe Around Thin Ice: What To Do If You Fall Through Ice?
January 18, 2018 | By: Liane Brown
Falling through ice is responsible for many injuries and fatalities each year. Hypothermia, which is a severe decrease in body temperature, causes a lack of coordination, low energy, and a progressive loss of consciousness. This can make it very difficult to exit cold water safely. A person who has fallen through ice can eventually die of cardiac arrest if not rescued.
If you fall through ice, it is important not to panic. Keep your wet clothes on as they can trap air and keep you afloat. Turn toward the direction you came from as this section of ice supported you prior to your fall. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface. If you have an ice pick, use the pick to propel yourself onto the ice surface. If you do not have a pick, keep your arms and hands flat to the surface. Kick your feet and push your stomach onto the ice. Once you are lying on the ice, do not stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on a solid surface.
As soon as you have exited the water safely, get to a warm, dry, and sheltered area. It is critical to re-warm your body and seek medical attention immediately.