TULSA - It's a chore that no one really likes to do - shoveling snow. And it's one that most don't perform properly which can lead to serious injury.
Do you know everything you should to make sure you don't hurt yourself this winter season?
According to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons there are steps you can take to stay safe while clearing your driveway or front porch.
- Warm up your muscles. Take about 10 minutes before heading out to get yourself loose
- Pace yourself. Take plenty of breaks and drink plenty of fluids.
- Use the proper size and weight shovel. Find one that suits your strength and height and space your hands apart to gain leverage.
- Try to push the snow instead of lifting. if you must lift, use your legs and don't lift heavy amounts of snow.
- Don't throw snow over your shoulder or to the side. This causes a twisting motion that puts stress on the back.
There are dangers associated with snow blowing as well. AAOS suggests the following tips:
- Never stick your hands in a snowblower. If it jams, turn it off and wait at least 5 seconds. Use a solid object to clear the snow.
- Never leave it unattended when it's running.
- Add fuel before starting the blower, never during. And don't use it in an enclosed area.
- Be aware of the engine becoming extremely hot - it can burn unprotected flesh.
- If you're using an electric blower, be aware of the power cord at all times.
- Do not remove safety devices, shields or guards on switches, and keep hands and feet away from moving parts.
- Never let a child operate a snowblower.
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