Milwaukee Polar Bear Plunge: How to participate in event safely

MILWAUKEE -- It's almost time to jump into a freezing Lake Michigan! The annual Milwaukee Polar Bear Plunge is on New Year's Day.

But the tradition could trigger some health hazards. Anna Medaris Miller joined Wake Up with details on how you can participate in the event safely.

About the Milwaukee Polar Bear Plunge (website)

What to wear.
We recommend wearing layers which are easy on and off as well as comfortable. Before you plunge consider how much clothing you want getting wet, remember you want to be able to get out of it as soon as possible and into dry loose fitting clothing. Plan on wearing some type of footwear during the plunge the lake bottom could be rocky.

What to expect.
Take deep breaths and walk slowly into the water. Running may cause you to fall and get hurt. The water maybe icy. The bottom tends to be rocky and it's always extremely cold, prepare yourself for your body to feel like it’s going into shock. The Milwaukee Fire Department Paramedics are in the water waiting in the event of someone needing assistance.

After the Plunge.
Get dried off and dressed before you leave the beach. Remove all wet clothing and get into dry clothes as soon as possible. Bring Warm dry socks and winter boots. Your feet are your first warming priority. Bring heating packs for your hands and feet. Layering sweatshirts and sweatpants are recommended after you get out of the water. Towels and wool blankets, a sleeping bag is also highly recommended.

Bragging Gear
Check out the official unofficial merchandise with 2018 Commemorative Polar Bear Plunge design these items are great to wear on site and later to brag that you Survived the Plunge.

Fun for the whole Family.
The event is a free non sponsored event, open to the public and does not require registration. If you are driving to the event, you'll want to make sure to give yourself plenty of time, as parking will be limited.
This is a Milwaukee Tradition made to share with friends and family. Most importantly make sure to follow all safety precautions and have someone help you get warmed up and safe after you’re out of the water.