Spring-like weather has finally arrived and with that comes dangerous ice and water conditions. Open water signifies the ice is melting since temperatures are hitting above zero degrees.
But, that doesn’t mean the water is warming up, any body of water is still hovering around zero degrees. Which at that temperature, a person who fell into the water would lose motor function in under a minute before completely losing consciousness in under 15 minutes, that is, if they weren’t already dead.
Miranda Bothwell, Middlesex-London EMS PAD / Public Education Coordinator says there are three stages of hypothermia which will begin with mild – person starts shivering, and be very cold. Then moderate hypothermia – disorientation, agitation, and severe shivering. Severe hypothermia is the most dangerous type – person is so cold they are no longer shivering which means that person is in life threatening condition.
At this time of year a surface may still look frozen but as you go further the thickness of the ice will become thinner. Which is a big concern for emergency crews, however it isn’t just people who fall through the ice. Animals are no exception. Firefighters say do not try and rescue any animal that falls through the ice as that puts you in the same situation as that animal.
“The weight of an animal opposed to a man is going to be quite a but less, if the animal is falling through then there is a chance if you’re going to go out there and try to get it that you’re going to fall through as well and be compounding the problem.” London Firefighter Brad Dodd said.
In addition parents should be more cautious during these periods of warming temperatures and make sure kids stay away from the ice and water.
And as the snow and ice melts, there is also potential for flooding. Many people don’t recognize that even little depths of water and currents can be a hazard.