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Safety group issues frozen water alert
3:20pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
By Robert Cox
THE current cold weather is creating hidden dangers on frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs a safety organisation has warned.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) said children and pets were particularly at risk when tempted to play on ice formed on open water.
Advice issued by the society includes if you fall through ice, keep calm and shout for help. If the ice is strong enough, you should spread your arms across the surface of the ice in front of you and kick your legs to slide on to it.
If you cannot climb out, wait for help and keep as still as possible. Press your arms by your side and keep your legs together. Keep your head clear of the water.
Once you are safe, go to hospital immediately for a check up.
The first stages of mild hypothermia are shivering and teeth-chattering. If you notice those symptoms you need to warm up with a combination of warm, dry clothes and activity.
If you see someone else fall through the ice, shout for assistance and phone the emergency services.
Do not attempt a rescue but reassure the casualty and urge them to keep still to conserve their energy. Lie down on the bank and try to reach the casualty using a rope, pole, tree branch or clothing tied together or anything else which can extend your reach.
If you cannot reach them, slide something which floats, such as a plastic bottle or football, across the ice for them to hold on to to stay afloat while help is on the way.
If you have been able to rescue the casualty, lay them flat, check for normal breathing and begin resuscitation if necessary.
Warm the casualty gradually using warm clothing, blankets and shelter. Do not rub their skin, do not apply hot water bottles and do not give an alcoholic drink.
For further information contact Steph Clarke at the RLSS UK on 01789 774226 or email email@example.com