There's nothing that gets kids in line like the threat of a Christmas without presents — a tactic some Minnesota authorities are hoping will keep young ones off literal thin ice.
On Saturday, the police department in Barnesville, Clay County, posted a Will Ferrell meme on Facebook warning local kids to stay off the ice on Blue Eagle Lake as it's "still too thin to venture onto":
The rather exasperated post notes that "half the time we get (to the lake) and the kids are gone (which poses the issue of: did they fall through? Did they leave? What happened? Where are they?)."
"Please, talk to your kids, watch your kids, something," the Barnesville PD implores parents. "Make sure they know to stay off the ice."
It's a warning that grownups would also be well-advised to listen to as Minnesota's temperatures begin dropping — but not quite low enough yet to make ice activities safe.
Unfortunately, recent reports from DNR conservation officers show that many adults across the state are perhaps a little too eager to start ice fishing season.
Last weekend, "the first ice angler was observed on what was believed to be unsafe ice" in the Hibbing area, while there were at least two such sightings near Ely, while officers spotted people on thin ice on Red Lake River near Thief River Falls, according to a DNR update.
In Silver Bay, one DNR agent encountered cross-country skiers on "on a partially frozen lake" and warned them about the poor ice conditions.
When temperatures finally drop low enough for serious ice, be sure to follow the Minnesota DNR's safety guidelines. For new ice, they recommend a thickness of 4 inches for ice fishing or activities on foot, 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV, 8-12 inches for a car or small pickup, and 12-15 inches for a medium truck.