Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City: A quick crash course on shoveling

Push the snow. Don't lift.

Eat nourishing meals.

Dress in layers and cover your neck and ears.

Every snowstorm, it seems, someone dies after shoveling snow.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Donald F. Schwarz has reminded Philadelphians to take precautionary measures to lessen the chance of injuries and accidents common in winter weather.

He has issued these tips on shoveling snow:

Warm up with some stretching exercises inside.

Start slowly and pace yourself. Shovel no more than five loads a minute; don't shovel for more than 15 minutes without taking a break. Pause to stretch every five minutes by standing up straight.

Push the snow. Don't lift. If you must lift, use your legs not your back.

Drink during breaks to avoid dehydration. Breathing cold dry air robs moisture from your body with every breath.

Never throw over your shoulder. Twisting can strain the back. Face the snow being shoveled, keep your back straight and knees bent and throw in front of you.

Dress warmly in layers with a hat. Cover your neck.

Take smaller scoops of snow, keeping them light and small.

Don't work up a sweat. Bodies lose heat faster in damp clothes, which makes you more prone to injury. Take a break if you're beginning to sweat.

Don't smoke or eat a heavy meal before shoveling. It's harder on the heart.

Don't hold your breath; this makes your heart rate and blood pressure rise. Don't feel the job has to get done in one session.

Don't smoke or eat a heavy meal before shoveling. It's harder on the heart. Don't hold your breath; this makes your heart rate and blood pressure rise.

In an emergency, call a doctor, or 911 for a medic unit, or go to an emergency room. Until medical help arrives, protect someone suffering from exposure to the cold with extra blankets and clothing.

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