Editor's Note: The following is a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office press release.
Hennepin Sheriff Rich Stanek is reminding parents and caregivers to keep children away from thin ice on partially frozen ponds, lakes, and all bodies of water. Most victims of fatal accidents on the ice in Hennepin County have been children.
“When your child is near the ice or the water, you should be near your child,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, “I urge you to provide clear rules about ice safety throughout the winter months.”
No ice should ever be considered safe.
Small bodies of water such as ponds are especially a hazard now since they are the most likely to have a thin layer of ice. A dusting of snow or frost may give thin ice the appearance that it is safe when it is not.
Remember, the recommended minimum thickness for ice is four inches for walking and small group activities. Weather conditions have not allowed for adequate freezing to meet this minimum requirement.
Please keep your dog on a leash this time of year. The Sheriff’s Office has responded to incidents involving pet owners who put themselves in jeopardy chasing after a dog that wandered onto thin ice.
For more information about ice safety, the DNR has tips online at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html.