With the winter snow storms upon us, we wanted to make sure you are staying safe while shoveling snow during the recent downfalls. Unfortunately, many people sustain injuries while shoveling snow. A 2015 study found that an average of 11,500 people go to emergency rooms in the United States for various injuries related to shoveling snow. The most common injuries include back injuries, shoulder/arm pain, pulled or strained muscles, and injuries from falling. Some people may also be more prone to heart attacks because in the cold our arteries tend to restrict, and too much exertion too quickly may trigger a heart incident.
With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to stay safe while shoveling snow:
- Prior to starting your shoveling, warm your body up. Jumping jacks or jogging in place should get your body going.
- Try to reduce strain on your body – especially your back. Back injuries are the most common type of injuries. Use your legs to lift rather than your back, and push rather than lift.
- Use the proper shovel - Ergonomically-designed shovels and plastic shovels are lighter and can help reduce the amount of bending and strain on your back.
- Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Pace yourself and take a break every 20 minutes or so.
- Attack the snow at periodic times throughout the storm – not all at once after the snow stops. Removing some snow earlier, when it isn't as deep or heavy, will help you remove additional snow later. The more that accumulates, the heavier it gets.
- Dress appropriately. Get warm and stay warm during the work.
- Stop when you feel tired.
- Get help ! Get the kids off the video games and out in the snow to help. If done properly and safely, it is good exercise and some physical work is helpful for the kids. If there are kids in your neighborhood, pay them a few bucks to help out. You'd be amazed at how much progress you can make when 2 or 3 people help as opposed to just one person.
Good luck and stay safe!
If you or a loved one have been injured, please contact our office at 1-866-456-HUNT (4868) for a FREE consultation or contact us here, and we will contact you immediately. Hablamos español o puedes contactarnos aquí.