BRITISH Waterways is urging people who use its towpaths in Ellesmere Port to take extra care during the freezing weather conditions.
And with the Christmas party season nearing, the organisation is also asking revellers to stay safe when near the water.
Towpaths, bridges and lock-sides become slippery at this time of year and snow can conceal boat mooring rings and ropes, which are easy to trip over.
Frozen canals can be very dangerous and no-one should ever attempt to walk on or test the thickness of the ice.
Simon Salem, director at British Waterways, said: “Canals and rivers make a pretty spectacular winter scene and understandably draw in lots of walkers, cyclists, anglers and joggers to enjoy the views.
“Common sense usually prevails and millions of people happily enjoy the towpaths during the cold months.
“However, I would urge parents to ensure their children understand the dangers of falling through the ice into cold water, which causes sudden asphyxia, hypothermia and even drowning. I cannot stress enough how dangerous freezing water is.
“I would also ask that dog owners keep their pets on a lead to prevent them falling in the water and that anyone drinking alcohol is especially careful when walking on frozen towpaths.
“By taking simple precautions, such as sturdy footwear, visitors can easily avoid a nasty sprain, a trip to A&E or worse.”