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Tips for Shoveling Snow Safely

Did you know that shoveling snow,  even after moderate snowfalls, can carry with it the risk of injuries and death.

Before you venture out to shovel your driveway,  take a few moments to make sure you know the facts!  According to the National Safety Council  “shoveling snow or using a snowblower are among winter’s most grueling activities.”

The NSC recommends the following tips to shovel safely:

  • Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
  • 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
  • Know the signs of a heart attack  and stop immediately and call 911 if you’re experiencing any of them; every minute counts

The NSC further warns not to shovel snow without a doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease.

The American Heart Association’s warnings about cold weather, shoveling snow and cardiovascular disease are detailed extensively on their website.  Visit cold weather and heart disease for important information.

You may also want to check out snow shoveling safety tips from Consumer Reports here.  They remind us that snow shoveling is not just another household chore.

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