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Snow shoveling safety tips

Estherville News Editorial

January 10, 2016
Estherville News Staff , Estherville News

This week in Emmet County, the snow has come down heavy and wet, and the humidity level is high. Merge this with temperatures sliding to single digits and below, and safety could be a concern for those pushing the snow off driveways and sidewalks.

Health care providers at Mayo Clinic Health System want to ensure your safety, and offered these tips:

n Be heart conscious. If you have a history of heart problems and are currently inactive, it's best to speak with your health care provider before shoveling. Additionally, don't shovel while smoking, eating, or after consuming caffeine. This could place extra stress on your heart.

n Dress warm. Wear several layers of clothing. You can always remove a layer if needed.

n Drink plenty of water. Remaining hydrated during cold-weather months is just as important during warm-weather months.

n Warm up your arms and legs. Stretch your arms and legs before beginning to shovel. You are less likely to injure muscles when they are warm.

n Take is slow. Pace yourself and take breaks if you need to. Safety is more important than speed.

n Shovel while snow is fresh. Freshly fallen snow is lighter than snow that has started melting.

n Listen to your body. This is the most important snow shoveling tip. If something feels abnormal, or if you're tired, it's time to stop.

We also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the highway department, city staff, and others who operate the plows and sand trucks that help keep our roadways safe to drive on and clear from ice and snow. We know it's difficult to get to every location, and we're encouraged by the absence of reports of serious accidents from the winter driving conditions here. We're also encouraged by the neighbors we hear of who look out for their neighbors and clear the extra bit of sidewalk or hook up a chain to pull their neighbor's car out of a drift. Clearing ice and snow is important, challenging work and we appreciate all who do it.



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