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     The Sheriff's Office has twice this week received welfare concern calls about children who had been seen walking or playing on the ice on frozen sections of Norfork Lake.  This precautionary warning is being issued to make parents and young people aware of the potential deadly dangers of this kind of activity.

     Ice is unpredictable.  The density of ice can change anywhere and at any time.  After freezing temperatures and a heavy snowfall, sunny days will bring on a slow thaw.  The crust that forms on top of a lake or body of water is unstable due to the movement of water beneath it.  Lake ice is most fragile in frozen areas around an open patch and along the shore.  This ice may look solid, but it is probably very weak.

     It is suggested that parents should advise their children to never skate or play on the ice on a frozen or partially frozen lake or pond in this area.  The ice is likely thin and can easily crack. 

     Remember, when children are participating in winter activities, the risk of injury can be reduced with proper supervision and being aware of all potential hazards.  Please be responsible and take proper steps to ensure everyone's safety.

Baxter County Sheriff's Office