Jan 11, 2011 5:28 PM by Bea Karnes

4 survival tips if you break through the ice

Whether ice fishing, ice skating or just messing around outdoors and you end up on the ice--there are some safety tips everyone should follow to remain safe and dry.

There are also specific things that you can do to survive a plunge through thin ice.

Colorado State Parks has compiled this list of safety tips:

* Never go onto the ice alone. A buddy may be able to call for help if you fall in. Also, never attempt to walk out onto the ice to rescue your friend because you might also fall through the ice.
* Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol increases your chance for hypothermia, which is the loss of body temperature.
* Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) over winter clothing. Life jackets can provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.
* Assemble a personal safety kit. Always wear a safety kit on your body when going out onto the ice. Safety kits should include an ice pick, rope and a whistle to call for help.
* Always keep your pets on a leash. Never allow your dog to run out onto the ice and never walk your dog near a frozen lake or pond without a leash. If your dog falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue. Go for help.
* Reach-Throw-Go. If you can't reach the person from shore, throw them a flotation device or a rope. If you still can't help the person quickly-go for help.

If you do fall through the ice, remember these tips:

* Do not panic. Try to remain calm to conserve as much energy as possible. Try to get your arms onto the ice and kick as hard as you can with your feet to help lift you onto the ice, and then roll to safety. If you can't get out of the cold water by yourself, take appropriate actions to extend your survival time while waiting to be rescued.
* Do not swim. Swimming will cause your body to lose heat much faster than if you stay as still as possible.
* Act slowly and deliberately to conserve heat. Expect a progressive decrease in your strength and ability to move. Make the harder maneuvers at the beginning, while you can.
* Keep your upper body above water. Keep your head and upper body as far out of the water as reasonably possible to conserve body heat.



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