Parents urged to warn children of the dangers of frozen lakes, streams and rivers

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With temperatures predicted to drop this week to below freezing, Wakefield Council is reminding people of the hidden dangers of frozen lakes, streams and rivers.

​Parents are being urged to keep a close eye on small children and keep them away from frozen water.

Dogs should be kept on a lead and owners should avoid walking near streams, lakes or rivers.

The council is advising that precautions should be taken at all times, to minimise the danger of falling into icy water which can kill, sometimes in a matter of minutes.

READ: Simple advice to stay safe near open water
Falling into freezing water can cause the body to go into instant physical shock leading to difficulties in breathing and rapid heartbeats which can make the victim become confused and unable to make decisions.

If this happens, and someone falls in, others must not dive in after them. Instead they should call the emergency services on 999.

The best way to assist is to remain on dry land and use a rope, pole, branch or item of clothing to pull the person to safety.

Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: "We are coming up to the Christmas holidays which is a great time to go out for walks with the family and enjoy the beautiful landscape that we have around us.

"But as it gets colder the risks become greater, with the threat of frozen lakes, ponds and streams. It is really important to be aware of the dangers faced by children who are too young to understand. I would urge everyone to take a moment to read our advice about keeping safe during a cold spell."