Three young boys in Paradise helped save a woman's life on Boxing Day, with what they didn't do being credited as just as important as the actions they took.

Andrew Vaters, Matthew McGrath and Jayden Simms were playing outside when they heard someone in distress.

"We'd been sliding outside and then we heard someone yell out, 'Help! Help!' " Vaters told CBC News. "Then we went down close to the pond and we saw someone through the ice."

The boys did the right thing, in choosing to go for help rather than go out on the ice themselves.

They went door-to-door to find someone who could call 911.

"I went up and I knocked on the door and said, 'Someone's fallen through the ice,' and they said, 'We'll be down right away,' " said McGrath.

When police and firefighters arrived on the scene, the boys waved to get the attention of responders.

Toni Collins, Jayden's mother, said she's proud of the boys, particularly for heeding their parents' warnings about ice safety.

"We stress it on a regular basis, especially this time of year, because you don't know exactly when the ponds are frozen," she said.

"You really can't tell. Looks are deceiving at times."

It's advice the boys say they've taken to heart.

"Don't go on the ice without a parent checking it," Vaters said.