Tips on staying safe while shoveling snow - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Tips on staying safe while shoveling snow

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

The number of such things as heart attacks, cases of frost bite and back injuries are proven to increase during and immediately following a snow event, in fact, it's estimated that 100 people will die during or just after shoveling snow each year. 

As you head out to shovel or snowblow in the type of cold forecasted in the next few days, keep in mind that frostbite can happen in minutes.

Baystate's Chief of Emergency Medicine told Western Mass News to not ignore the signs.

“With frostbite, things will start to feel numb. If they're out and exposed, you might see things becoming white or blanched. They get still and don't work very well. That would be signs that you're getting early signs of frostbite and need to get inside and get warm.”

The number of heart attacks, even in those with no risk factors, also climbs an estimated 33-percent during snow events.

“We always get busy this time of year. People start shoveling and they don't take any precautions,” said Craig Nicholson.

Craig Nicholson, certified athletic trainer at New England Orthopedics in Springfield said that people just don't realize how big a workout shoveling is.

“After15 to 30 minutes of shoveling snow, that’s equivalent to 200-300 calories worth of work, which is like going to the gym and getting a good workout.” 

Nicholson said avoiding back pain from shoveling isn't difficult.

“People can take some easy steps. Stretching, warming up before they go out there, and they can avoid a lot of doctor visits”.

Doctors said to push snow, never throw snow, and limit being outside to no more than 15 minutes at a time. 

Make sure all extremities are covered. 

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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