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Today is Minnesota Cold Water Awareness Day

Flickr, Sebastian Anthony

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The ice may have gone out on Minnesota lakes, but safety experts warn that cold water is still a danger.

Gov. Mark Dayton has declared Saturday Minnesota Cold Water Awareness Day. The annual event is to inform people about the dangers of sudden cold water immersion and the deadly effects of cold water shock.

Experts say despite recent balmy weather, the water is still dangerously cold and can quickly cause drowning.

They say children and adults need to stay out of the water, and wear a life jacket if they go boating. People who swim or fall into cold water experience an involuntary gasp reflex from the cold shock that can fill their lungs with water. The cold water also can quickly cause loss of muscle control.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)

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