Winter Safety Tips
Winter is one of the best times to enjoy our parks! With serene snowy landscapes and ice-covered ponds, winter provides scenic splendors with an array of exciting activities. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice fishing are among the many outdoor activities that residents and visitors can experience at state parks and recreation areas across Rhode Island. As you prepare your adventure, remember to also consider these cold weather safety tips to make your time outside more enjoyable:
There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice!You cannot tell the strength of the ice simply by its looks and thickness, the daily temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. The strength of ice is determined by several factors such as the chemistry of the water being salt or fresh, local climatic factors such as wind, snow, rain, and temperature fluctuations which can vary considerably from day to day, the presence of currents such as at stream inflows / outflows, and along streams or rivers, the presence of springs, then size and depth of a lake or pond, the distribution of the weight or load placed on the ice, and the signs of expansion cracks.
Ice Safety Tips:
- Never assume the ice is safe.
- The only safe ice is at a rink.
- Never skate on an untested lake or pond.
- The ice should have minimum of at least  inches.
- Never skate alone.
- Only skate during the day or if an area is illuminated.
- Know the body of water, nearby street, and where the nearest location is to go for help.
- Never use ice for a shortcut.
- Never go out onto the ice after an animal or toy.
Ice Emergency Tips:
- Call 911!
- Do not try to rescue the victim.
- Try to calm and reassure the victim.
- If with a responsible adult, have the adult return to try and assist the victim from shore.
- Provide victim with something to help them stay afloat such as plastic milk or soda bottles, or a spare tire.
- If the victim is stable and afloat try to send something to reach and retrieve victim such as a rope, extension cord, ladder, branch, boat or tying clothes together.
- If victim is retrieved to shore, take steps to keep them warm (change clothes, wrap in blanket etc.) until rescue personnel arrive.