• Never guess the thickness of ice — check it. Test the ice in several different places using an auger or other means to make a hole and determine the thickness. Make several, beginning at the shore, continuing outward. Check with a partner; if checking alone, wear a lifejacket.

• If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off of it. Be careful of thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.

• Avoid areas with currents and around bridges and pressure ridges. Wind and currents can break ice.

• Parents should alert children of unsafe ice in their area and make sure they stay off the ice. If they insist on using their new skates, suggest an indoor skating rink.

Anyone who breaks through ice should remember:

• Don’t panic.

• Don’t try to climb out immediately — the ice is likely to break again. Reach for solid ice.

• Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Once on the ice, roll, do not walk, to safety.

• To help someone who has fallen through the ice, lie down flat and reach with a branch, plank or rope or form a human chain. Don’t stand. After securing the victim, wiggle backward to solid ice.