What to do and what not to do if you fall through the ice

Health

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) —  With many children off of school this week, kids will no doubt be playing outdoors at some point.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as they keep some safety measures in mind.
Children testing thin ice is all fun and games until someone falls in.
It can happen in an instant. A couple of years ago, a Utah woman, nearly froze to death after trying to save her dog after both fell into the icy water.

“Hypothermia can set in in minutes.”

Salt Lake City Fire Fighter and Paramedic, Richard Platt, says when it comes to icy ponds:  
“If you don’t know, don’t go.”

Plunging into frigid water sends your body into shock. You first start gasping and hyper ventilating.
Experts say get your breathing under control before hypothermia sets in.

Platt, “If you are by yourself call for help, make noise, wave your arms and if it’s up to you to get out, break the ice and crawl if you can’t break the ice, increase the body area on the ice up to your arm pits. If you have a tool it can be used as a pickaxe to pull yourself out.”

Experts say under freezing water, you are losing body heat 25 times faster than above water.  Your blood pressure and heart rate increases. Your body temperature drops. If you’re able to tread water, you have as little as 15 minutes before lose consciousness.  

Platt, “Waving your arms too much may actually be a detriment. Hold onto your energy. Stay conscious and live as long as possible before help arrives.”

Another tip: Don’t remove your clothing, including your boots. They actually will help you to stay afloat.

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