Weekly First-aid Topic: Be wary of risks from melting ice and snow in spring
From:Beijing Municipal Health Commission

The cold winter has passed while the spring is returning. As the temperature gradually rises, many ice surfaces have melted, posing hidden dangers. On the ice surface on a flowing river, this is usually a "vacuum space" with the height of 2 to 3 cm under the surface because the river water level changes with the water amount. With the water plants and ice on the shore mixed together, the seemingly solid ice surface actually hides huge dangers. Due to the large temperature difference between day and night, the carrying capacity of the ice surface on the river is reduced. It is smooth and brittle, and the water underneath is cold. If people walk, run or glide on the ice during this season, the ice surface will easily break and cause danger. It is very difficult to rescue people accidentally falling into an ice cave. Therefore, in the season of melting ice and snow, it is necessary to avoid walking, skating, or playing on the ice to prevent drowning accidents.

How to save yourself if you fall into an ice cave? The following approaches can be taken.

1. Don’t panic. While calling for help, hold on to the edge of the ice to avoid sinking into the ice water.

2. Never flutter your hands and arms randomly, as this will increase the fracture area of the ice surface.

3. Observe the cracked ice around you carefully and find the part where the ice is thickest with less cracks.

4. Place your body close to the edge of the thickest part of the ice, put your hands on the ice, and hit the water with your feet to float your lower body and keep your whole body in a straight line. Then crawl with your elbows to gradually leave the water.

5. After leaving the ice cave, do not stand immediately to prevent the ice from bearing too much weight and breaking again. Instead, you could roll on the ice or climb to the shore before standing again.

Here are some tips from Beijing 120. It is necessary to strengthen safety education on a daily basis, improve safety awareness, to nip problems in the bud. In particular, we should strengthen education for teenagers and children to improve their ability to identify dangerous situations, avoid emergency accidents, and escape from danger. Once in danger, it is advised to contact 119, 120 and other professionals for rescue as soon as possible.