Minnesota's annual icing-over provides plenty of opportunities for frozen fun, including skating, hockey, ice fishing and snowmobiling.

But it can also pose serious threats when proper precautions are ignored. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, there have been 26 ice-related fatalities in Minnesota since 2008.

Abbey's Hope wants Minnesotans to enjoy all that the winter months have to offer, but we also want to remind everyone that there are risks associated with these cold-weather activities,” said Scott Taylor, Abbey’s Hope co-founder and father of Abbey Taylor, who died of complications from injuries due to an improperly maintained pool drain. “Always make sure the ice is thick enough for the particular activity. No day of skating, fishing or snowmobiling should end in tragedy. Use caution and properly supervise children, who are especially vulnerable.”

Abbey's Hope and the Minnesota DNR recommend the following ice thickness guidelines:

  • 2 inches or fewer: Remain off the ice
  • 4 inches or fewer: Walking or skating
  • 5 inches: Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8-12 inches: Car
  • 12-15 inches: Medium-sized truck

Wearing life vests under winter gear or a flotation snowmobile suit is also encouraged. Flotation devices, however, should not be worn when traveling across the ice in an enclosed vehicle.

Learn more at abbeyshope.org or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips