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Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
With the arrival our first major snowstorm of the season, here are some snow shoveling safety tips from Mendham First Aid:
1. If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance. It's a good idea to keep your cell phone with you, in case you need to call for help. Just make sure it's in a weatherproof case, or a zip lock bag.
2. Dress appropriately - Wear breathable layers with a wind/water resistant outer layer, plus hats, gloves, thick socks and slip-resistant boots.
3. Stay hydrated - Shoveling (and snowthrowing) is exercise, and like any exercise, hydration is important. Take breaks as needed. And warn up your muscles a bit before you go out.
4. Start early - Keep up with the snow. It's easier (and lighter) to shovel an inch of snow than to remove 4-5 inches. Did you know a full shovel of wet snow can weigh as much as 25 pounds? If the snow is really deep, shovel off the top inch or two, and then go back over, removing it in layers.
5. Use the right sized shovel - Bigger isn't always better, and a curved handle can help you maintain proper back positioning.
6. Push the snow - Don't lift and throw if you can avoid it. Walk the full shovel to where you want to dump the snow instead. And definitely don't throw it over your shoulders! If you must lift, use your legs and thighs, not your back...NO TWISTING!
7. Take breaks when frequently - The snow (unfortunately) isn't going anywhere, and will be there once you are rested and ready to restart.
And if you are using a snowthrower, never stick your hands down the shoot or in between the blades while the engine is running!