How to safely remove wet, heavy snow without excess strain or injury
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - With rain and snow expected in the forecast, there could be some wet, heavy snow to clean up on Tuesday. Western Mass News is getting answers on how to safely clear the snow without injury or excess strain.
You may want to rush through your snow blowing or shoveling duties Tuesday, but we spoke with Dr. Julio Martinez from Baystate Medical Center, who said not so fast!
Dr. Martinez told Western Mass News that the expected wet, heavy snow may clog your machine if you are snow blowing, and will likely need to be dislodged. He added that you should never stick your hand in the snowblower and make sure the machine is off before cleaning it out.
“We have a lot of wet snow. You may feel like reaching into the snowblower, never a good idea,” Dr. Martinez said. “Just get a stick or an object. Be sure that the snowblower is off and you never put your hands next to the blades because it’s catastrophic.”
If you are shoveling, do not overfill it. Dr. Martinez said that in sports rehab, the most common type of injury they see are back injuries. To combat that, he even showed us the proper form for cleaning up.
“You shovel and then you’re going to lift with your legs like this, and then, you’re gonna toss forward,” Dr. Martinez demonstrated.
You should toss the snow forward; do not twist or throw it over your shoulder. Dr. Martinez said think about a baseball pitcher when they throw a baseball -- they step forward.
He also alerted us to some other ways to protect yourself and take immediate action if something does not feel right.
“If you may have any heaviness in your chest -- some people describe it like you have an elephant sitting on your chest -- with any pain from your jaw or to your arm, you definitely want to be sure that you call 911,” he told us. “Don’t call your doctor; just call 911.”
Another thing that might not be top of mind is to hydrate. Make sure you are drinking water and have a proper intake of fluids before heading outside.
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