If you want to go skating this winter, stick to a rink.
That's the word from city parks officials who are urging New Yorkers to stay away from frozen lakes and ponds at the start of the winter season.
The Parks Department says that just because a lake or pond looks frozen, that doesn't mean it is.
Ice must be at least six inches thick before it can take the weight of a person. For that to happen, the temperature needs to be well below freezing for weeks.
"We have a very urgent message to New Yorkers which is very simply this: Stay off the ice. We know right now it's definitely not thick enough to go on and you place yourself in grave danger. You could die."
The Parks Department also urges residents to never leave children or pets unattended near a lake or pond.
If you find yourself on ice and hear cracking, lie down to try to distribute your weight.
And if you see someone falling through ice, don't attempt a rescue. Instead call 911 immediately.
Ice skating rinks are open throughout the city as a safe alternative.
Where To Have Winter Fun