Cold Water Risks and Dangers
Monday, May 19, 2014 6:20 AM


Dear Families,

I share the information below because a few of our students have tried this 'challenge.' I have talked to students during lunch and told them how dangerous this is and although it has been on the news, I felt it important enough to send to parents.

Cold Water Challenge: Jumping into an icy lake or river is a fad gaining popularity among young people. Jumpers challenge their friends to jump. What is known as the "cold water gasp reflex" may cause people who are immersed suddenly in cold water to involuntarily inhale water and drown. If the water is cold enough, even a person wearing a life vest can die of cardiac arrest within three minutes. Those planning to jump in and then swim to safety may find they are unable to swim. Swim failure happens in three to 30 minutes because cold stiffens the muscles, making swimming nearly impossible. And, even if the person gets out of the water, "post immersion collapses" may be a problem. The DNR has a booklet Hypothermia: The Cold Facts.  Water in metro area lakes currently ranges from 40 to 45 degrees. Water below 50 degrees is considered extremely dangerous. Teens from the metro area have died.

Please talk with your children.