Trauma And Injury Prevention
I Want To
For most people, snow removal is an expected chore. But, for some, the risk of a heart attack or back injury is a reality. If you are not in good physical condition or have existing heart disease or a personal history of stroke, you are at a higher risk for injury. Snow removal can be especially dangerous if you do not exercise regularly.
The combination of colder temperatures and physical activity increases the workload on the heart. When outdoors in cold weather, you should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow or even walking through heavy, wet snow or snow drifts, which can strain your heart.
Back / Body Injuries
The most common injuries associated with snow removal include sprains and strains, particularly in the back and shoulders, as well as lacerations and finger amputations. The 2009 US Consumer Product Safety Commission notes the following snow removal statistics:
To help make snow removal safer, follow these tips for safer snow removal.
Never second guess a heart attack!
If your chest starts hurting, you feel lightheaded, short of breath, your heart starts racing, or some other physical change makes you nervous, call 911.
© 2012 Denver Health