Loudoun County public safety officials remind residents to never walk or drive on frozen streams, rivers and ponds.
It may seem that the ice is thick enough to walk on, but the actual strength of the ice may be far less than it appears particularly when temperatures exceed the freezing mark.
Inform Your Children
It is especially important for parents to speak with their children about the dangers of walking and playing on frozen ponds and rivers. If you live near a waterway, remain watchful for children attempting to venture onto the ice. Many communities in Loudoun County strictly prohibit ice skating on frozen ponds.
What to Do in an Emergency
If you should find yourself in a situation where a person has fallen through the ice, Loudoun emergency personnel ask that you:
Do not panic
Encourage the victim to keep calm
Call 911 immediately
Do not attempt to enter the water
Extend an object, such as a tree branch or rope
Bystanders should never enter the water or go onto the ice in an attempt to rescue a person or animal - a bystander attempting a rescue could become a victim themselves in a matter of seconds. If a dog or another animal falls through the ice, do not go to its rescue. If the ice did not support the animal, it will not take your weight.