Why is Shoveling Snow Safely Important?
When you think about the dangers of shoveling snow, you probably think about straining your muscles and aggravating back problems. While these are certainly concerns, a greater danger is that of a heart attack. Shoveling snow is an incredibly strenuous exercise, and being exposed to the cold weather will cause your blood vessels to constrict putting you at greater risk of having a heart attack. In fact, shoveling snow is the main reason that more heart attacks occur during the winter months. Read on for our tips for shoveling snow safely.
With regard to your aching back, try not to lift a shovel that’s filled with snow. Push the snow off of your driveway and sidewalks instead. If you find that you have to raise the snow, don’t let yourself twist around—face the same direction that you’re lifting. Stop what you’re doing as soon as you start to feel sore. You can always pick the shovel up again later.
How to Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow
- Don’t shovel snow right after you get up in the morning—you’re more likely to incur a slipped disc injury because of the fluid that builds up in the disc while you’re sleeping.
- Be sure to check with your doctor if you have a heart condition or any other reason to think that shoveling snow could be hazardous to your health.
- Put a snow and ice repellant on your shovel to prevent buildup. This will keep snow from sticking to it, which will lighten the load that you’re having to lift.
- Drink water before you begin and take breaks frequently.
Say No to Snow Throwers
Many people opt to use a snow thrower instead of shoveling their driveways and sidewalks because they think they’re much easier to use. Unfortunately, snow throwers are also incredibly dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are thousands of visits to the ER every year due to snow throwers, some of which involve amputation.
Snow Shoveling Services
If your neighborhood doesn’t include a teen who offers to do your shoveling for you for cash, you can always find a snow removal service online. It shouldn’t take more than a few clicks of your mouse to find an online referral service that will connect you with local snow shoveling services. If shoveling snow might be hazardous to your health, and particularly if you have a heart condition, this is a wise alternative.
In winter, your home needs special attention, and American Home Inspection Services can help. Click here for our article about home winterization, and here for our post about preparing your home before you leave for vacation. We welcome you to contact us if you are interested in scheduling any of our home inspection services.