DNR warns of backyard ice dangers, especially for kids
As ice conditions rapidly deteriorate due to the unusually warm winter weather, state officials are urging people to pay attention to smaller bodies of water, too, and not just lakes.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says smaller bodies of water, like backyard ponds, are magnets for curious kids, and at least eight kids under the age of 10 have died falling through backyard ice in the last 25 years.
The ice on smaller bodies of water melts much faster than on larger bodies, making it a very dangerous spot for kids.
Back in November, a 4-year-old was hospitalized for four days after falling through ice on a retention pond in Minneapolis. Fortunately, that child survived.
The DNR is now urging people, especially parents, to be prepared in case a child or pet falls through ice.
“They shouldn’t run out on the ice to try to save them because if their child fell through, then it’s definitely not going to support the weight of a larger person,” Nicole Biagi, an ice safety coordinator for the DNR, said. “So, call 911 and grab a throw rope, grab something that you can toss out to them, a life jacket, so you can get them back to shore.”
Biagi recommends that anyone who lives near a body of water have a rope or flotation device and life jacket readily accessible in case of an emergency. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The DNR has more ice safety tips online.