Minneapolis, MN - (January 13, 2015)- Winter means ice-skating, hockey, ice-fishing and snowmobiling, but bundling up from the cold isn’t the only precaution to take outside when heading outdoors this season. Far too many Minnesotans have fallen through the ice and lost their lives in the past few years. Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation reminds families to practice ice safety while out on the lakes and ponds.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there have been 24 ice fatalities in the state since 2008. The vast majority of these deaths occurred as a result of vehicles (snowmobiles, ATVs, cars or trucks) falling through the ice. Before heading onto the lake or pond, remember to check the ice thickness and pack rope, ice-picks and a flotation device.

“Abbey’s Hope wants Minnesotans to enjoy all that the winter months have to offer, but we also want to remind everyone that there are risks associated with these cold weather activities,” says Scott Taylor, cof-ounder of Abbey’s Hope. “No day of skating, fishing or snowmobiling should end in tragedy. Use caution and properly supervise children, who are especially vulnerable.”

Abbey’s Hope and the Minnesota DNR recommend the following ice-thickness guidelines:

·         2 inches or less: Ice is unsafe. Please stay off.

·         4 inches: Safe for walking

·         5 inches: Safe for small vehicles such as snowmobiles or ATVs

·         8-12 Inches: Safe for cars

·         12:15 inches: Safe for medium-sized trucks

The organizations also recommend wearing a life vest under your winter gear or flotation snowmobile suit while on the ice. Please, do not wear a flotation device while travelling across the ice in an enclosed vehicle. Life vests only serve their purpose in open vehicles.

For more information and winter safety tips, visit Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Have fun, stay warm, and by all means, stay safe!

 

About Abbey’s Hope:
Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained from an improperly maintained pool drain cover.

The foundation’s goal is to:

  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning. 

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://abbeyshope.org.

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The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips