Take Care When Shoveling Around Your Chicago Real Estate

January 16, 2012

bottom half of a person holding a shovel filled with snowAt least two Chicago area residents have died over the last week while shoveling snow.

Every year, people injure their backs, or worse, while clearing snow. Take care of yourself when taking on this physical activity.

Here are some tips to prevent injury from the National Safety Council:

*Avoid shoveling snow if you are out of shape. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel snow unless your doctor says it’s okay.

*Do light warm-up exercises and stretches before shoveling and take frequent breaks.

*Dress warmly, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose and ears.

*Try to shovel snow when it is fresh. It will be powdery and easier to shovel than wet, packed-down snow.

*Pick the right shovel for you. Don’t pick up too much snow at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.

*If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs bent; don’t use your back. By bending and sitting into the movement, you’ll keep your spine upright
and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you.

*Use rock salt or deicing compounds to remove ice from steps, walkways and sidewalks. Sand placed on walkways may also help prevent slipping.

*If you use a snow blower, fill it up with fuel when the engine is cool. Do not leave the machine unattended while running, and do not put your hand in the snow blower to remove impacted snow or debris. Instead, turn the machine off and wait a few seconds, then use a stick or broom handle to remove the material.

*If your body is telling you to stop shoveling snow, listen to it, especially if you feel pain or start seeing heart attack warning signs: chest pain; shoulder, neck or arm pain; dizziness, fainting, sweating or nausea; and/or shortness of breath. Get medical help immediately, and then pay a neighborhood kid to finish your Chicago real estate‘s driveway.

Shoveling is a necessity around Chicago during winter and can be a great workout if done properly. Just take the time to do it right.

For more safety tips at home, visit nsc.org.

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