The looming winter storm projected for our area on Tuesday Feb. 4-Wednesday Feb. 5, could potentially leave behind many inches of the white stuff that is causing many of us to scream s-NOOOO-w! The DuPage County Health Department is reminding residents to take certain precautions when shoveling snow in order to stay safe and healthy.
- Warm up your muscles. Shoveling can be a vigorous activity. Before you begin, warm up your muscles for 10 minutes with light exercise.
- Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, seek emergency care.
- Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Consider buying a shovel that is specially designed to prevent too much stooping. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
- When possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, take small amounts of snow, and lift it with your legs: Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift by straightening your legs, without bending at the waist. Then walk to where you want to dump the snow; holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine.
Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side. This requires a twisting motion that stresses your back.