We've had a cold winter so far here in Colorado, most days staying under 50F and a few that barely reached 30F! So I thought I would take this opportunity to remind everyone of a few basic safety tips for those of us who love to be outdoors in any weather or even those who have family from a warmer area visiting over the holidays.
Creative Commons photo by Liz West
Never let children play around a pond alone! Let's face it, we all did stupid stuff as kids and even though not getting in the pond may seem like common sense to you it might not be common sense for your young loved ones. Even if there is ice over your pond! Even if your pond is not very deep! Even if they know how to swim! Hypothermia is a real risk for anyone who may enter that cold water. So it's best to just not risk it!
Do not walk on any ice if you are not completely sure that the ice is at least 10 inches thick and unless your ice is crystal clear. If your pond has a de-icer, bubbler or any other device that prevents ice from forming in a certain area, the risks of putting weight on your pond is greater. Even though adults are not as susceptible as kids to hypothermia, it is still completely possible and still dangerous.
Another reason to prevent anything from falling into your pond is that if anything foreign enters into your pond while your koi are "hibernating", your Koi will most likely be harmed in the process even if they aren't physically hurt. While your koi are in this state, all of their bodily functions, including their immune systems are not operating at the same rate while they are active. Anything stressful, or foreign in the koi's environment during this time could compromise even one koi, which then compromises the others as well. For more info on your Koi in the winter, check out our other blog post "Winter Q and A" and "Do Koi fish hibernate?"
Hopefully this has been a helpful reminder to keep yourself, your loved ones and your Koi safe this winter!