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Dangers of playing on ice

That frozen pool, pond, or lake may look icy, but is it strong enough to hold your body weight?

SMITH COUNTY, Texas — The record-breaking cold has brought frozen lakes, ponds and pools to Texas and although that may look fun to play on, it could be dangerous.

Weather like this in East Texas is uncommon but the thickness of that ice likely is not strong enough to play on.

Jennifer Dunn of the NWS Fort Worth office explains why.

"It is easy to think the entire lake will freeze or a big part of it but you have to remember the water itself is actually holding more heat than the ambient temperature around it so that initial layer may freeze but that almost protects the water underneath from continuing to get cold very fast," said Dunn.

If the ice is less than 2" thick you should not walk on it. According to the NWS, you need at least 3-4" of ice to support human body weight.

Credit: kytx

If you do fall in, here's what you should do:

1. Remain calm and catch your breath

2. Turn back toward the ice you came from

3. Spread your arms out on the ice to distribute your weight

4. Kick your feet until your body is horizontal

5. Pull yourself onto the ice and roll away from the hole. Begin to crawl on hands and knees once you are able to get further away. Then, if you can, walk to a sturdy spot.