Avoid frozen lakes, streams and rivers during the cold snap
Children and adults are being urged to keep away from frozen lakes, streams and rivers during the cold snap to avoid the risk of deadly exposure to cold water.
Wakefield Council is putting out the warning to remind parents about the dangers of icy water, which can kill in minutes.
Immersion in freezing water causes the body to go into a physical shock leading to breathing difficulties and a dangerously rapid heart-beat and this can also cause mental confusion and impair decision-making.
Parents are urged to keep a close eye on small children and to keep dogs on a lead, well away from frozen water.
If the worst happens, and a person goes in the water, others must not follow them in, but call the emergency services on 999. They must not put themselves in danger and need to make sure they are in a safe place on the shore and use a rope, pole, branch or item of clothing to pull the person to safety.
Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: "Lots of families will be out and about in the countryside and in the parks, enjoying walks during the cold weather.
"I would like to remind parents and young people whilst frozen ponds and lakes do look beautiful, there are hidden dangers there.
"Please keep a close eye on young children and keep them away from icy water as they won't appreciate the risks. We want to ensure that everyone stays safe when outside during the cold weather."
Experts stress if there is an incident people must stay off the ice themselves to avoid becoming another casualty.
For safety on ice advice please visit www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/ice/ And more information is available at www.wakefield.gov.uk/watersafety