According to About.com, the oldest pair of ice skates were found in a Swiss lake. The skates, which were animal bones with leather straps, date back to around 3000 B.C. This find shows that ice skating is an ancient sport. No matter how long people have been gliding across frozen water, there are dangers involved with this sport, if you’re not careful. Read this informative article and learn some tips on how to stay safe while you’re ice skating on a lake or pond!
Tip #1- Layer Up Your Clothing to Help Prevent Hypothermia and Frostbite
Before you head out this winter to go ice skating, you’ll need to dress warmly in layers. Instead of wearing one big bulky coat, putting on layers of lighter clothing will keep you warmer. Thermal underwear and socks are the best base layer. Once you’re fully dressed for ice skating, put on a hat and waterproof gloves, and a scarf to cover your neck. The less exposed skin you have, the warmer you’ll be.
Tip #2- Make Sure Your Skating Equipment Fits Right and Is In Good Condition
Always wear ice skates that fit your feet properly. Ice skates that are too small can constrict your circulation and make your feet cold. Ice skates that are too big will throw you off balance, causing you to fall. The best footwear will also support your ankles.
Wearing Helmets, Knee and Elbow Pads Help Protect You From Injuries
According to Jennifer McGeehan, MPH at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Columbus Children’s Research Institute, head injuries are the most common injury associated with ice skating. That’s why it’s important to wear a proper fitting helmet. Wearing knee and elbow pads will also help protect those joints during your ice skating excursions.
Tip #3- Practice the “Buddy System” While Ice Skating
Another tip on how to stay safe while you’re ice skating on a lake or pond is to never go alone. Take a friend ice skating with you. That way, you can help each other if trouble arises. And, make sure at least one of you has a fully charged cell phone in case of emergency.
Tip #4- Check the Depth of the Ice Before You Start Skating
You can’t tell if the ice on a lake or pond is thick enough to skate safely on by just looking at it. You must drill a hole in the ice and measure the thickness. As a rule of thumb, ice that’s 4-inches thick should safely support an average-size adult.
Tip #5- How to React If You Fall Through the Ice On a Lake or Pond
Falling through the ice is the biggest risk when you’re ice skating. If it happens, stay calm. Turn towards the direction you walked onto the ice from the shore. Lean towards the ice and extend your hands and arms out. Kick your feet to move you forward and try to crawl up onto the unbroken ice. Roll your body away from the hole until you reach solid ice.