Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow Safely   

(Liberty, NY 12:15pm) - In anticipation of another big snowstorm tomorrow, Sullivan County Public Health Services would like to share this message with the public. Nationwide, snow shoveling is responsible for thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year. Why? Shoveling snow is just another household chore, right? Not according to Harvard Health Executive Editor Patrick J. Skerrett, who said "Picking up a shovel and moving hundreds of pounds of snow, particularly after doing nothing physical for several months, can put a big strain on the heart.”

Pushing a heavy snow blower also can cause injury. And, there's the cold factor. Cold weather can increase heart rate and blood pressure. It can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be even more careful.

The National Safety Council recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

Take it slow and stretch out before you begin
Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it's lighter
Push the snow rather than lifting it
If you do lift it, use a small shovel or only partially fill the shovel
Lift with your legs, not your back
Do not work to the point of exhaustion
Stay hydrated, drink water
Do not shovel after eating or while smoking

Do not pick up that shovel without a doctor's permission if you have a history of heart disease. If you feel tightness in the chest or dizziness, stop immediately. A clear driveway is not worth your life.

Snow Blower Safety
Be safe with these tips from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

If the blower jams, turn it off
Keep your hands away from the moving parts
Do not drink alcohol and use the snow blower
Be aware of the carbon monoxide risk of running a snow blower in an enclosed space
Refuel your snow blower when it is off, never when it is running

For more tips, go to:
http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-snow-shoveling.aspx

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