Many children and adults don’t realise the dangers of playing on iced over lakes and ponds at this time of year. Here are just a few facts about the dangers!
To have an iced over lake it needs to have been below -4oC for a few days. The longer it has been below freezing the thicker the ice will be. But even at -1oC a thin layer of ice can form. Normally when it is cold enough to have frozen lakes the ait temperature does not get above -2oC
The core body temperature is 37oC and needs to be kept at such to stay alive and functioning correctly. Below is a list of what happens as this temperature drops:
- One degree drop: speech becomes slurred
- Two degree drop: fingers become clumsy, numb and weak. Shivering.
- Three degree drop: feet lose strength and become clumsy.
- Four degree drop: brain is affected – difficulty thinking clearly.
- Nine degree drop: muscle rigidity sets in.
- Fourteen degree drop: loss of consciousness and irregular heartbeat.
- Twenty-three degree drop: death from heart failure.
As the iced water will be at or below 0oC, if someone was to fall in, then it could literally beminutes before the affects of hypothermia take hold. That’s not to mention the difficulties of actually getting out of an iced over pond, and the danger you put anyone else in trying to rescue you.
Please reiterate to your children and their friends how ridiculously dangerous walking across iced over lakes/ponds is.