Tragedy sometimes strikes families during the holiday season in Minnesota. Learn how to protect your children and avoid a terrible accident.

Each November in Minnesota, bodies of water start to freeze over. Some years it freezes faster than others. Sometimes the ice is stronger than others. One thing is for certain: the ice isn't 100% safe.

Dangerous Area: Thin Ice
Bryan Sikora

In fact, the Minnesota DNR warns people that ice can never be considered 100% safe, but this time of year especially. They recently posted several messages on social media to spread the word about the potential dangers of children wandering out onto the ice.

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The Minnesota DNR Enforcement says it's absolutely vital that parents and guardians talk with their children about staying away from the ice. It doesn't matter if it's a lake, pond, or river. Kids should never be on the ice with adult supervision.

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They break it down to simply this: if your kids are near the ice, you should be near your kids.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources also is warning anglers to be careful and prepared for early-season ice. They remind you that you're not just putting yourself at risk but also every first responder who has to come out and try to save you.

Here are the Minnesota DNR recommendations for going out on frozen bodies of water.

  • Wait for at least four inches of new, clear ice before going out. Check ice thickness frequently. You can do this by using a spud bar.
  • Wear buoyant gear and carry ice picks. Ice picks can help you pull yourself out on slippery, wet ice.
  • Carry a throw rope
  • Go with a buddy and keep some distance between each other so you don't both fall in together.
  • Let someone know about where you are going and when you plan to return.

You can learn more about ice safety at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Osborn & Peter Richman

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