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Stay safe in ice and snow

With snow and icy conditions this week, Birmingham City Council is warning the public of the dangers of attempting to skate or walk on any of the ice-covered park lakes and ponds.

The snow will also make it difficult for people to see the edges and banks of park lakes and rivers. Visitors to parks and open spaces are being urged to be vigilant, especially when visiting with small children and dogs. Parents are also asked to warn their children against using sledges on steep hills where there may be obstacles such as trees and fences.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “Although it is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of our parks, the extremely cold weather conditions cause many pools and lakes to freeze over and people are sometimes tempted to walk on the ice. There is a grave danger that this will lead to people falling through the ice into freezing water. We want families to enjoy our parks safely.”

Park Rangers are also asking that life belts are not misused so they are readily available for emergencies. If the public see or are aware of missing existing life saving equipment, they should contact parks on 0121 454 7810

Steve Grogan, Head of Birmingham Resilience Team, said:” We are also urging people not to get caught out and plan for the unexpected by keeping specific items in the car boot in case of emergency caused by adverse weather conditions.  Keeping an emergency kit, bottled water, first aid kit, torch, mobile phone and a list of useful telephone numbers along with a blanket, waterproofs and a spade will ensure you are well prepared for the worst winter can bring. Finally, the elderly should at all times possible stay in their homes and keep warm.”

Peter Cornall, RoSPA head of leisure safety, said: “Winter is a great time to be out and about but it’s worth taking a bit of extra care around hazards like frozen water – ice-related drownings are entirely and easily preventable.  And take time to consider your choice of sledging location, being mindful to consider other people on the slope and to think through the “what-ifs” when improvising or making a sledge, such as sharp edges etc. A good safety tip is to walk up the slope first – it will help you spot hazards, realise how steep the slope really is, and check whether there is enough stopping distance at the bottom.”

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